June 03, 2020 13:05
The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it could consider terminating a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan that was conditionally extended last November if the Japanese government refuses to lift curbs on exports of high-tech materials to Korea.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy the same day decided to revive a complaint against Japan at the World Trade Organization over the curbs on exports of three core materials used to manufacture computer chips and smartphones on which Japan then had a virtual monopoly.
When asked if Seoul would once again consider terminating the pact, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim In-chul told reporters, "When we announced the decision [to conditionally extend the pact] on Nov. 22, it was on the premise that we could terminate it at any time," depending on how bilateral relations proceed.
"Japan must lift its export curbs," he added.
In August last year, Japan removed Korea from a "whitelist" of countries receiving preferential treatment in trade. Korea retaliated by announcing the termination of the intelligence-sharing pact but relented under heavy pressure from Washington.
The government also at the same time halted the complaint against Japan at the WTO.
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