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S. Korea renews calls for Japan to remove export curbs

All News 11:40 February 12, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday renewed calls for Japan to remove its export curbs, hinting it could reverse last year's "temporary" decision to put off the expiry of a bilateral military intelligence-sharing deal.

In November, Seoul temporarily delayed the expiry of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) due to opposition from Washington, which views the pact as a crucial platform to promote its trilateral security cooperation with the two Asian allies.

The decision followed its earlier threat to withdraw from GSOMIA in response to Tokyo's export curbs seen as political retaliation for 2018 Supreme Court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of wartime forced labor.

"We urge the Japanese government again to remove the export restrictions against us as soon as possible," a foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"We would like to remind Japan of the temporary nature of the measure taken by the South Korean government," the official added.

Amid limited progress in the two countries' talks over Japan's export control measures, Seoul has been stepping up calls for Tokyo to quickly reverse the measures, including its removal of South Korea from a list of favored trade partners.

During a press conference last week, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also reiterated that South Korea "still has the right" to revive its currently suspended decision to end a bilateral military information-sharing deal.

Japan has insisted that the export restrictions have little to do with the forced labor issue and that all reparation issues stemming from its 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula were settled in a 1965 state-to-state treaty that normalized bilateral relations.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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