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Industry ministry launches new office on exports control

According to Yonhap News,

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it will launch a new office under the industry ministry devoted to issues related to exports control, in line with its moves to better cope with protectionism, including the lingering trade row with Japan.

"The reshuffle will allow South Korea to unify existing bodies related to trade security, allowing the country to respond more promptly to the fast-changing trade environment," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

The new division will also focus on curbing illegal exports and cooperate with local exporters of strategic items. Seoul and Tokyo have been at loggerheads since July last year, after Tokyo abruptly imposed restrictions on exports of three key industrial materials to its Asian neighbor.

Japan later removed South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners, saying that the Asian neighbor did not effectively control the trade of sensitive materials that could be diverted for military use.

Seoul believes the move came as its court had ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of wartime forced labor. Tokyo partially lifted the curbs on exports of photoresist to South Korea ahead of their summit in December, but no further progress was made, with the latest COVID-19 pandemic making the issue less urgent for both countries.

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 28, 2020)

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