Japan refuses to retract new export rules on S Korea

Samsung boss visits Tokyo amid Japan-Korea trade scuffle escalation

Samsung boss visits Tokyo amid Japan-Korea trade scuffle escalation

Moon on Wednesday met executives from several companies to discuss the crisis, telling them the decision by Tokyo was meant to damage South Korea's economy, AFP reports.

"I think it could be a move to show that (Japanese government) will take a stronger position on hard bilateral issues regarding damages to Japanese companies", Korea National Diplomatic Academy professor Choi Eun-mi said.

On Japan's claim that it implemented the measure as there had been an inappropriate case on the South Korean side, Paik said that this could not be a reason for the action in light of WTO rules. Seoul could not rule out countermeasures for damage they inflicted on firms in South Korea, Moon added.

South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported Monday South Korea could be working toward global cooperation with the United States and other countries to push back against Japanese restrictions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said South Korea had asked Japan for an explanation of the curbs and that working-level officials would respond.

Since July 4, manufacturers have been required to file applications before they can export to South Korea three materials needed in the production of semiconductors and displays for smartphones and televisions.

The Japanese government is also seeking consultation on whether South Korea should be removed from its "white country list". 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.

Oil tanker seized off Gibraltar not destined for Syria, says Iran
Iran denies the vessel was headed to Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Tehran . Iran downed a US military drone on June 20 that it said was flying over one of its southern provinces on the Gulf.

It has long claimed that the South Korea-US alliance has been strained beyond fix under the Moon administration, saying that due to the president's focus on mending ties with North Korea, the government has disregarded bilateral relations.

South Korean chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. are expected to be impacted by the curbs affecting fluorinated polyimide, resist and hydrogen fluoride.

Seoul urged Tokyo to withdraw the measure, claiming that it amounts to economic retaliation taken for political purposes.

Sung Yun-mo, the South Korean industry minister, told a press conference on Tuesday that the government has "found no evidence" that banned technology or materials are being shared with North Korea and accused Japan of "making groundless allegations".

South Korea's ruling party also announced on Thursday that up to about 300 billion won ($254.8 million) would be included in a supplementary budget bill to cope with Japan's export curbs.

The latest dispute stems from a South Korean court ruling a year ago that ordered Nippon Steel Corp.to compensate former forced laborers.

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