WASHINGTON — Growing trade tensions between Seoul and Tokyo could undermine regional stability and complicate U.S. efforts to make progress on denuclearization with North Korea, said experts.
The tension between the two countries, with origins in Japan's pre-World War II occupation of Korea, has become an "unprecedented emergency," said South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a Wednesday meeting with executives of South Korea's top 30 conglomerates. "We can't rule out the possibility that the situation would be prolonged, despite our diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue."
The meeting took place in response to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposing tight export controls on three Japanese-made high-tech materials to South Korea. The materials restricted July 4 are used in the production of memory chips, TVs and smartphones.
Working level talks between South Korea and Japan are scheduled to begin Friday in Tokyo, according to South Korea's trade ministry. The talks come after Moon this week urged Japan to roll back the export restriction, saying he wants to resolve the dispute diplomatically.
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