June 26 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday the door is "always open for dialogue" with a longtime regional rival, after reports suggested the two countries have been unable to negotiate a summit.
The two countries have yet to resolve longstanding historical issues, and more recently, military disputes that took place at sea.
Japan may have been not open to the idea of a Moon-Abe summit; on Tuesday, a senior presidential Blue House source told South Korean news service Newsis the summit was not to take place at the G-20.
Moon is expected to hold summits with other regional leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. After the summits, Moon is expected to host U.S. President Donald Trump in South Korea.
Japan has also been unhappy about legal verdicts passed in South Korea that pertain to wartime forced laborers.
On Wednesday, a Seoul high court said seven South Koreans are to be each compensated $86,400 per person. The court ordered Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel to pay damages -- the same verdict reached last year at South Korea's Supreme Court.
The court said in statement the plaintiffs received "unreasonably low pay" compared to Japanese workers performing the same labor. The Korean workers were unable to send remittances to their hometowns, and the provisions they were given were "so poor, they had to steal crops from surrounding fields."
Yang Ki-ho, a professor of Japanese studies at Sungkonghoe University in Korea, said Abe is taking a tough stance against South Korea ahead of July elections.
South Korea has proposed creating a joint fund by corporations in the two countries, but Japan has rejected the idea, according to Yonhap.