Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The United States and South Korea may be moving closer to settling differences over military cost sharing on the peninsula following 10 rounds of talks.
An official at Seoul's foreign ministry told local news service Seoul Pyongyang News on Tuesday discussions were held Monday between Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa and U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris.
The source said the two sides agreed that an "early settlement of issues" would be on principle a "desirable" outcome.
"Regarding defense cost sharing, the two sides said well-conducted negotiations that lead to an early settlement of issues would be desirable," the source said.
The South Korean foreign ministry official also said there is coordination taking place between Washington and Seoul on a "working group-level meeting" that should take place before the planned second U.S.-North Korea summit.
Lee Dong-ryeol, South Korea's director for peace and diplomacy planning, had visited Washington recently to consult on inter-Korea projects, and not to request exemption from sanctions, according to Seoul Pyongyang News.
Lee was recently involved in video-conferenced working-level talks with the United States.
U.S.-South Korea discussions are taking place as tensions persist between Seoul and Tokyo.
The security-related risks that come with the tensions may be too high, however.
NHK reported Monday Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Japan and South Korea will need a "cooling-off period," or a break from the dispute related to multiple incidents involving Japanese aircraft and South Korean naval ships.
Iwaya said he was open to opportunities for dialogue with Seoul to increase trust, including with his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo.
Last week, South Korea disclosed five images taken from videos of a low-altitude flight of a Japanese aircraft, the third flight of its kind in January. Japan had said the flights did not pose a threat to the South Korean military.