11 July: Top Seoul officials in U.S. to discuss trade tensions stirred by Japan’s export curbs

Published on July 11, 2019 by

Senior South Korean officials are in Washington… amid the country’s escalating trade tensions with Japan.
They want the U.S. to use its sizable influence over Japan to urge it to change course.
Tokyo has imposed heavily-restrictive trade control measures on Seoul…. that many watchers say are likely to hurt other global IT giants… as much as they harm South Korean companies.
Oh Soo-young starts us off.
South Korea’s Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Hyun-chong is in Washington to discuss major trade and security issues with his U.S. counterparts.
The trip comes amid growing regional trade tensions after Japan imposed unprecedented export curbs on key high tech components bound for South Korea.
Speaking to reporters at Dallas International Airport on Wednesday, local time, before transferring planes for Washington, Kim confirmed the trade spat will be one of the main topics of discussion.

“I’m here as there are many issues to discuss with White House officials and lawmakers…”

“Will you request U.S. mediation on Japan’s trade restrictions?”

“That issue will certainly be discussed. Most definitely.”

Seoul’s top diplomat for Bilateral Economic Affairs, Kim Hee-sang, is also in Washington, to meet his counterpart Roland de Macellus of the U.S. State Department.
He’ll also sit down with Marc Knapper, the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan to discuss “matters of mutual interest.”
Kim is expected to explain the potential impact of Tokyo’s controversial trade measures and the possible spillover effect on global businesses.
South Korean companies produce three-quarters of the world’s DRAM chips, about half of 3D NAND semiconductors,… and the lion’s share of OLED displays,… which are used by other global IT giants, such as U.S.-based firms Apple and Dell.
The South Korean officials are likely to ask Washington to diffuse the trade spat before it escalates even further.


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