South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization run deep, canceled a trip to Japan by its foreign minister following the weekend shrine visits.
Yesterday, a South Korean government spokesman said matters of history should be kept separate from efforts to cooperate over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
“It is helpful that the region’s countries and the international community work together and pool their wisdom to solve this problem [of North Korea],” South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tae-young said. “But when it comes to history issues like the Yasukuni visit, our government takes a firm stance. That must not be mixed.”