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South Korea Ready to Talk with Japan Over Historic Disputes

South Koreans perform during the celebration of 75th anniversary of the Liberation Day at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. South Korea marked its 75th National Liberation Day on Saturday, which celebrates its independence…

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday expressed his country’s readiness to discuss with Japan historic disputes that continue to divide the two countries.

Moon spoke in Seoul on the anniversary of Japan’s World War II surrender, which also marked the end of Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

"We have been holding discussions with the Japanese government on an amicable solution that the victims can agree on,” Moon said. “The door for negotiation is still wide open. Our government is always ready to sit down (to talks) with the Japanese government."

The two countries are in strong disagreement over a 2018 South Korea's Supreme Court order that a Japanese steelmaker pay compensation for forced labor during the war.

Japan argues that the ruling violated international law, since all claims for compensation linked to the colonization were settled under the 1965 diplomatic treaty between the two countries.

Seoul, however, says the ruling is enforceable as a decision by an independent judiciary.