South Korea's Moon Denounces Japanese Comments Over Sanctions

Samsung boss visits Tokyo amid Japan-Korea trade scuffle escalation

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told Pompeo in a phone call late on Wednesday that Japan's trade restrictions may not only cause damage to South Korean companies but could also disrupt the global supply chain and hurt U.S. firms.

Japanese officials say such materials can be exported only to trustworthy trading partners, hinting at security risks without citing specific cases.

The Japanese government said last week it would tighten export regulations because Seoul has supported compensation for Korean forced laborers recruited during World War II.

"Whether Japan implements additional measures depends on South Korea's response", he told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting.

"[Our] government is doing its best to resolve the issue diplomatically".

South Korea is expected to put more pressure on Japan while working to win the understanding of the worldwide community for its argument that the Japanese measure is problematic. "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. Japanese companies exporting those goods need government approval to move them.

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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. He told reporters he would meet officials from the White House and Congress to discuss issues that included Japan's export curbs.

New US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell is visiting Asia until July 21, including stops in Japan and South Korea, to work on a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region, the State Department said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Junichi Ihara, Japan's ambassador at the country's permanent mission to worldwide organizations in Geneva, stressed at the meeting that the Japanese measure does not amount to a trade embargo and is fully in accordance with WTO rules, noting that it represents an operational review needed to ensure the appropriate implementation of the country's export regulations, according to informed sources.

Hong Nam-ki, Minister of Economy and Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea, said on Monday Japan must revoke the trade restriction as it would negatively affect the global economy.

Japan's envoy in Geneva, Junichi Ihara, countered that the Japanese measures were just a "change of application of procedures". Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to the report.

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