mcloudy.png
Wednesday July 8th, 2020 9:26AM

SKorean leader denounces Japanese comments over sanctions

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — 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 defending 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.

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 World Trade Organization.

Moon spoke hours after South Korean officials told a WTO meeting in Geneva that the Japanese measures would have repercussions for electronics products worldwide and called for their withdrawal.

"(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 said in a meeting with senior executives from 30 of South Korea's biggest companies, including the 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 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.

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 batteries for electric cars, told reporters on Tuesday the company was planning for possible restrictions on battery materials.

Japanese officials have rejected any link to historical disputes. They also have continued to add new reasons for the controls, from lack of trust to national security, and most recently South Korea's alleged failure to attend export control talks. Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters Tuesday that South Korean officials haven't responded to requests for talks for three years, and a Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday cited Seoul's "failure to maintain regular inter-authority consultation, in spite of Japan's repeated requests" as a key reason for Japan's decision.

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 the 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.

___

Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to the report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
SKorean leader denounces Japanese comments over sanctions
South Korean president has 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
10:47PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Outrage over killing of black teen over rap music complaint
Hundreds of people including presidential candidate Cory Booker have spoken out on Twitter about the killing of a 17-year-old black youth, allegedly by a white man charged Tuesday with first-degree murder who said the youth's rap music threatened him
10:20PM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: Carrasco fighting cancer, saluted at All-Star
The Latest: Indians' pitcher Carrasco fighting cancer, given ovation at All-Star Game.
10:10PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Long lost WWII-era Soviet songs brought to life in Israel
In its first performance in Israel, a Grammy-nominated Yiddish concert played the lost songs of lost Jews in a nearly lost language
8:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Egypt asks Interpol to help it retrieve King Tut statue
Egypt says it has asked Interpol to help track down a 3,000-year-old sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun after Christie's auctioned it off last week despite Cairo's objections
8:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
UK envoy's leaked views inspire more insults in Trump tweets
Leaked documents revealing the British ambassador's critical views of the Trump administration have produced more insults and awkward politics
5:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP World News
Ivory Coast passes legislation encouraged by Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump is applauding the recent passage of legislation in Ivory Coast related to changes she pushed during her April trip to Africa
9:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Manfred: Baseballs not juiced, but decreased drag puzzling
Rob Manfred: Baseballs not juiced, but decreased drag puzzling
9:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Ex-Indians Sabathia, Brantley take All-Star bows
The Latest: Former Indians stars Sabathia, Brantley get warm pregame ovations
9:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
H. Ross Perot rose from poverty to self-made billionaire
H. Ross Perot rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty to become a self-made billionaire who twice ran for president with a mixture of folksy sayings and simple solutions to America's problems
5:51PM ( 4 hours ago )
S&P 500 snaps 2-day losing streak; mixed finish for stocks
Wall Street capped a day of listless trading Tuesday with modest gains, narrowly avoiding a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500 index
5:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
Colorful self-made billionaire H. Ross Perot dies at 89
Self-made Texas billionaire and two-time presidential candidate H. Ross Perot has died
3:47PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Outrage over killing of black teen over rap music complaint
Hundreds of people including presidential candidate Cory Booker have spoken out on Twitter about the killing of a 17-year-old black youth, allegedly by a white man charged Tuesday with first-degree murder who said the youth's rap music threatened him
10:20PM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: Carrasco fighting cancer, saluted at All-Star
The Latest: Indians' pitcher Carrasco fighting cancer, given ovation at All-Star Game.
10:10PM ( 40 minutes ago )
California OKs benefits to immigrants in country illegally
California has become the first state to offer taxpayer-funded health benefits to adults living in the country illegally
10:06PM ( 44 minutes ago )
New Pentagon leadership to be in hands of Senate soon
Pentagon says that acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper expects to be formally nominated for the top job very soon
10:06PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Judge blocks government lawyers from quitting census fight
A New York judge says the Justice Department can't change lawyers so late in the dispute over whether to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census
10:05PM ( 45 minutes ago )