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U.S. confirms exclusion of S. Korea from its export controls against Russia

All News 09:01 March 08, 2022

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. government has formally announced the exclusion of South Korea from its expanded export restrictions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which enhances partner nations' joint efforts to implement strong sanctions against Moscow, Seoul's trade ministry said Tuesday.

Last month, the U.S. government announced the Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR) for all of Russia, calling on companies to receive a license from the United States for tech-related items using U.S. technology before they can be shipped to Russia.

South Korea had been originally excluded from a list of nations that were exempted from the FDP rule, raising concerns over its impacts on its major exporters but won an exemption last week after negotiations with the U.S. government.

"The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Bureau of Industry and Security, added the Republic of Korea to the list of countries to receive an exclusion from the license requirements required under the U.S. Russia/Belarus Sanctions rules, including the foreign direct product (FDP) rules for Russia/Belarus," the joint statement issued by the two nations on Monday read.

The Republic of Korea is South Korea's official name.

"Providing exclusions to partner countries enhances the multilateral effort to implement strong export controls," it added.

Earlier, South Korea announced a series of sanctions against Russia, including halting financial transactions with seven major Russian banks and their affiliates slapped with U.S. sanctions, in line with the global move to remove Russia from the SWIFT global payment network.

The Seoul government also decided to ban exports of strategic items to Russia while strongly recommending local public and financial institutions halt their investment in Russian government bonds.

This photo provided by South Korea's industry ministry on Nov. 10, 2021, shows Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook (R) and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo posing for a photo after a meeting in Washington. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"This unprecedented multilateral coordination on export controls is a powerful component to ensuring our response to Russia's invasion is swift, severe and successful," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo was quoted by the statement as saying.

Seoul's Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo stressed the country's strong commitment to "implementing swift and effective export control measures in partnership with our private sector," and Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook said the U.S.' addition of South Korea to the excluded nation list shows the "ironclad and reciprocal partnership."

Following the U.S.' move, Seoul's industry ministry began work to revise rules on export license requirements for 57 non-strategic items that come under the FDP rules.

The Seoul government also began taking follow-up measures of toughening its own export restrictions against Russia.

It decided to ban exports to 49 Russian organizations and firms, including Russia's defense ministry, in accordance with the U.S.' Entity List for export controls.

Under the measure, a license is required to export or transfer major items to those entities, with limited exceptions.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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