AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Seoul wants Washington to mediate in trade spat with Tokyo

July 10, 2019 - 10:44 pm

South Korea is requesting the United States mediate in a bitter diplomatic row with Japan over Tokyo's moves to tighten controls on high-tech exports to its neighboring U.S. ally.

South Korea said Thursday its Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha discussed the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone and conveyed Seoul's view that Japan's "undesirable" trade curbs could disrupt global supply chains and hurt trilateral cooperation among the countries.

The ministry says Pompeo expressed an "understanding" of South Korea's position and agreed to help facilitate communication through diplomatic channels among Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.

Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of South Korea's presidential National Security Office, arrived in Washington on Wednesday and told reporters he would discuss the trade spat with Japan with U.S. officials.

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