S. Korea checks more items vulnerable to Japan’s export control

SEOUL, The South Korean government has stepped up preparations for the possibility of Japan expanding retaliatory export curbs, a related ministry official said Saturday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in January made a list of 100 industrial products that could be targeted by Japan's export restrictions, the official said.

Three of them are already subject to stricter export controls: fluorinated polyimide, photoresist and high-purity hydrogen fluoride, which are used in semiconductor and smartphone display production.

Japan has halted customs procedures for the shipment of the products to South Korea.

Tokyo is apparently considering taking similar measures against additional items in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Seoul. The Abe administration is demanding that the South Korean government resolve the issue of compensation for Koreans forced to toil at Japanese factories during World War II.

"As Japan has implemented the export restrictions against the three items, we are scrutinizing products in other industrial fields (that may be also targeted)," the official said.

A number of South Korean firms rely on Japan's supply of chemicals, electronic parts and high-tech machine tools.

"Among them, the chemical material sector is important," the official said.

The government is in consultations with companies here to obtain more detailed information.

President Moon Jae-in also plans to meet with the heads of South Korea's major conglomerates next week for discussions on the matter.

In the session slated for Wednesday, the president hopes to listen to the opinions of business circles in person and explore ways to cope with Japan's move, a Cheong Wa Dae official said.

He added the government is trying to handle the issue from an economic perspective thoroughly for the national interest, while refraining from an emotional response.

On Sunday, Kim Sang-jo, presidential chief of staff for policy, is expected to meet with the leaders of Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, SK, LG and Lotte groups.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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