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South Korea To Sever Ties With Japan Over Dispute

South Korea plans to end ties with Japan until the dispute over Tokyo’s export restrictions is settled. South Korean chief negotiator Chung Hae-kwan revealed that South Korea will conduct a review of the steps to be taken apart from requesting the establishment of a panel. South Korea can request the establishment of a dispute-settlement panel at any time if it sees no prospect of reaching a deal bilaterally with Japan. Citing security reasons, Japan in July tightened controls on exports of three key materials needed by South Korean companies to produce semiconductors and display panels.

South Korea has insisted that it will only reconsider its decision to scrap the agreement, also known as GSOMIA, if Tokyo first reverses the export controls. Under the controls, Japanese companies are required to obtain individual licenses to export the materials to South Korea in a process that can take around 90 days. The country was previously exempt from the controls, a status it shared with the United States and many European countries. South Korea believes the controls go against the spirit of free trade and should be immediately removed.

source: Japan Times