SEOUL (REUTERS) – South Korea said on Friday (July 12) it deeply regrets accusations by some senior Japanese officials that South Korea did not enforce proper export control and Japan must present clear evidence for its assertion.
South Korea has fully enforced UN sanctions on North Korea and international export control regimes on sensitive materials and dual-use technology, Kim You-geun, first deputy chief at the National Security Office, told a briefing.
South Korea has denied accusations in Japanese media that it had shipped materials that could be used in weapons programmes to North Korea, as a diplomatic row intensifies over war-time forced labour that threatens to disrupt the global supply of memory chips.
A Japanese foreign ministry official said on Friday that curbs on exports of key materials used by South Korean tech companies are not intended as retaliation in a feud over South Koreans who worked for Japanese firms during World War Two.
The official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, also said that the steps were “necessary measures related to security”.
Japan has tightened restrictions on exports of three materials used in smartphone displays and chips, threatening to disrupt supplies of chips and displays by South Korea’s tech giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which count Apple and other smartphone makers as customers.
Officials from the two sides were to meet on Friday to discuss the restrictions.