Prime minister says Abe’s view on S. Korea over N. Korea sanctions potentially ‘risky’

SEOUL, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nakyon voiced concern Tuesday about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's comments alluding to a link between recent export restrictions and U.N.led sanctions on North Korea.

Appearing on Japanese television Sunday, Abe said it's natural to suspect that South Korea may not abide by related U.N. resolutions, saying that South Korea hasn't adhered to the accord on settling problems associated with Japan's colonization of Korea from 191045.

Tokyo has removed preferential treatment for South Korean firms importing chemical materials crucial in the manufacturing of semiconductors and digital displays.

The Abe government said South Korea is no longer deemed a trustworthy buyer of its products and claimed Seoul does not abide by the 1965 treaty in handling historical issues, especially that of wartime forced labor.

Lee said that his government sent a protest message to Japan over Abe's remarks and inquired about his intentions and what the grounds are.

"But there has been no reply," he said, responding to a lawmaker's question during a parliamentary interpellation session.

Lee added that Abe's comments "can be risky," potentially shaking longmaintained regional security order.

South Korea's foreign ministry also stated that the nation is faithfully complying with sanctions on North Korea.

Presiding over a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Lee said the government will propose additional funding to foster industrial materials production at home. He emphasized the urgency of nurturing the industry, referring to the trade standoff with Japan.

"(The government) plans to ask the National Assembly (to approve) the additional funding necessary for that in the extra budget this time," Lee said.

In April, the government proposed a 6.7 trillionwon (US$5.6 billion) extra budget to cope with an economic slowdown and fine dust air pollution.

A bill is still pending in parliament amid a call by the main opposition Liberty Korea Party to slash much of the proposed spending.

The prime minister stressed the need for lawmakers to pass the supplementary budget bill during the ongoing parliamentary session, saying internal and external economic conditions are dire.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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