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Foreign ministry renews calls for Japan to withdraw export curbs

Diplomacy 16:27 August 08, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- The foreign ministry on Thursday renewed calls for Japan to promptly withdraw its export curbs against South Korea, as Tokyo approved the first export of a key industrial material to Korea since it tightened related restrictions last month.

"Our position has been consistent. We have been continuously urging the Japanese side to promptly retract export control measures and voicing the need for dialogue to settle the issue," Kim In-chul, the ministry spokesman, said during a regular press briefing.

This photo, taken April 23, 2019, shows Kim In-chul, spokesman for the foreign ministry, speaking during a regular press briefing at the ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap)

On Wednesday, Japan permitted the shipment of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photoresist, one of the three items subject to its July 4 export control measure seen as a political retaliation for last year's Supreme Court rulings here against Japanese firms over wartime forced labor.

In some quarters, the approval was viewed as a possible pause in the two countries' escalating trade row, but tensions remained high over Japan's export restrictions as well as its decision last week to remove South Korea from a list of favored trade partners.

The spokesman reiterated the "unreasonable nature" of Japan's export curbs.

"That is why (we) have been requesting the withdrawal (of the export curbs) and stressing the need for dialogue," he said.

Japan's export restrictions against South Korea came amid a rancorous dispute over the forced labor issue.

South Korea's top court has recognized individual victims' rights to claim damages, while Japan argues that all reparation issues stemming from its 1910-45 colonization of the peninsula were settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized bilateral ties.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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