President Moon Jae-in meets with Japan's Ambassador to South Korea, Koji Tomita on January, 2020. (Yonhap)
South Korea's top national security officials agreed Wednesday, during a weekly meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, to continue efforts to improve Seoul-Tokyo relations long strained by disputes over shared history.
In the standing committee session of the National Security Council (NSC), they decided to continue efforts to address the problem, while strengthening "communication and cooperation with other nations to keep the security situation under stable control," according to the presidential office.
Ties between the two countries have been at one of their lowest ebbs over historical and diplomatic issues that have spilled over to the economic and military realms over the past several years.
Among the attendees at the meeting, presided over by Suh Hoon, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, were new Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Jeong Eun-kyeong, chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
The officials had discussions on the Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for infectious disease control and public health, Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
The regional cooperative body aimed at jointly tackling public health crises was launched late last year following President Moon Jae-in's proposal, but North Korea and Japan have not joined the forum yet.
They also reviewed Iran's recent decision to free sailors of a South Korean oil tanker held in the country and pledged to make efforts to fully resolve the issue.
Tehran announced last week it will release all sailors of the tanker, except for the captain to manage the vessel held in an Iranian port since last month due to alleged oil pollution. (Yonhap)