South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, South Korean, South Korea News

Subscribe to Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest of Politicoscope top politics stories delivered to your email inbox.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday criticized comments by Japanese officials who questioned the credibility of Seoul’s sanctions against North Korea while justifying Tokyo’s stricter controls on high-tech exports to South Korea.

The issue has become a full-blown diplomatic dispute between the neighboring U.S. allies.

In a meeting with South Korean business leaders at Seoul’s presidential palace, Moon said his government was committed to resolving the matter diplomatically and urged Japan to refrain from pushing the situation to a “dead-end street.”

Tokyo last week tightened the approval process for Japanese shipments of photoresists and other sensitive materials to South Korean companies, which need the chemicals to produce semiconductors and display screens used in TVs and smartphones.

Japanese officials say such materials can be exported only to trustworthy trading partners, hinting at security risks without citing specific cases. Tokyo hasn’t elaborated but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his conservative aides have hinted there may have been illegal transfers of sensitive materials from South Korea to North Korea.

Moon spoke hours after South Korean officials told a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva that the Japanese measures would have repercussions for electronics products worldwide and called for their withdrawal. Japanese officials countered that the measures didn’t amount to a trade embargo, but rather a review of export controls based on security concerns.

“(Our) government is doing its best to resolve the issue diplomatically … (I call for) the Japanese government to respond. It should no longer walk straight toward a dead-end street,” Moon Jae-in said in a meeting with senior executives from 30 of South Korea’s biggest companies, including Samsung, Hyundai and SK conglomerates.

“The Japanese government’s move to inflict damage on our economy to serve political purposes and link (the issue) with sanctions against North Korea without any evidence is surely not ideal for the friendship and security cooperation between the two countries,” Moon Jae-in said.

He called for the government and private companies to form an “emergency response system” to deal with the impact of the Japanese trade curbs and prepare for the possibility that the dispute drags over an extended period.

Trending News 🔥

  • Amidst Tensions With North Korea, U.S. Approves Missile Sales to Japan, South Korea
    The United States said Friday it had approved more than $600 million in sales of air defense missiles to Japan and South Korea as tensions return with North Korea.The State Department said it had approved 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems for a total cost of $313.9 million.It separately gave the green light to sell 160 anti-air AMRAAM missiles and r...
  • Moon Jae-in Seeks ‘Irreversible, Permanent Peace’ With Kim Jong Un
    South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday that he will push for “irreversible, permanent peace,” and for better dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, during “heart-to-heart” talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week. His chief of staff, however, played down the chance that Moon’s summit with Kim will produce major progress in nuclear diplomacy.Moon flies to Pyongyang on Tuesda...
  • North Korea, South Korea Open Joint Liaison Office
    North and South Korea opened a joint liaison office in the Northern city of Kaesong on Friday as they knit closer ties ahead of President Moon Jae-in's visit to Pyongyang next week."A new chapter in history is open here today," South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a ceremony, calling the office "another symbol of peace jointly created by the South and the North".The nuclear-armed...

Analysts say the Japanese measure won’t have a meaningful impact immediately on South Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which both have sufficient supplies of the materials for now, given the slowdown in demand for semiconductors.

But there’s concern that Japan might expand the restrictions to include other sectors. Shin Hak-cheol, the CEO of LG Chem, a major producer of electric-car batteries, told reporters on Tuesday the company was planning for possible restrictions on battery materials.

South Korea, which has an export-reliant economy, sees the Japanese trade curbs as retaliation for South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate aging South Korean plaintiffs for forced labor during World War II and plans to file a complaint with the WTO.

Japanese officials have rejected any link to historical disputes.

South Korea has summoned a Japanese Embassy official to protest Abe’s suggestion that it could not be trusted to faithfully implement sanctions against North Korea. South Korea’s trade minister on Tuesday said an inspection of companies that process and export the chemicals imported from Japan found no sign of illegal transactions allowing them to reach North Korea or any other country affected by U.N. sanctions.

At a meeting of the WTO Goods Council in Geneva on Tuesday, South Korean Ambassador Paik Ji-ah said South Korea was the only country affected by Japan’s trade curbs, and expressed concerns that Japan was also reviewing whether to further tighten trade measures, according to a Geneva-based trade official who relayed the ambassador’s comments in the closed-door meeting. Paik declined to speak to reporters after the meeting.

Japan’s envoy in Geneva, Junichi Ihara, countered that the Japanese measures were just a “change of application of procedures.”

“We applied the simplified procedures before to Korea, but now we changed, and just normal procedures will be applied — are applied — to (South) Korea. … So this is perfectly in conformity with our obligations to the WTO,” he said.

  • AP

Most Popular

Thank you for visiting Politicoscope.com. Show your strong support.
+ Share this content with friends or Leave your comment below.
+ Subscribe for content like this and more.
+ Submit news or tips.

Donate

Donate now to help us provide more story like this.



More Donation Options

* Here are other Donation options for you.

* For Premium News readers, you can register here today.

Donate

Donate now to help us provide more story like this.



More Donation Options

* Here are other Donation options for you.

* For Premium News readers, you can register here today.