US Adviser Bolton Travels to Japan, S. Korea Amid Trade Dispute

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing

Such diplomatic angsts had been ramping up a widespread boycott of Japanese products alongside services in South Korea, from beers to pens, clothes to travels, unsettling business environments in such way what was being called as the worth economic climate on the shores of South Pacific Ocean in a decade.

South Korea is sparing no efforts to persuade the global community this week to help press Japan withdraw its export restrictions on high-tech materials and impugn Tokyo's reasoning behind its retaliatory measures.

The Blue House said Japan's claims that South Korea is violating worldwide law are "simply wrong" and urged Tokyo to "withdraw unjustified export restriction measures and refrain from comments and measures that could further exacerbate the situation".

Early this month, Japan announced it would curb exports on Korea's high-tech materials crucial to the production of chips and display panels.

SK hynix said its CEO also went to Japan to find ways to secure semiconductor materials.

Blue House spokesperson Ko Min-jung told reporters that Chung Eui-yong, top national security adviser for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, will meet with Bolton in Seoul on Wednesday.

He also plans to discuss countermeasures to Japan's further export restrictions. Washington blames Tehran for recent attacks on tankers.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), signed in 2016 between Seoul and Tokyo to counter threats from North Korea, is renewed automatically every year as long as there is no complaint from either side 90 days before the end of its extendable one-year period.

If South Korea is removed from the list of streamlined and preferential exports procedures, it would have major impact on global supply chains.

But with allies reluctant to commit new weaponry or fighting forces, a senior Pentagon official told Reuters on Thursday the aim was not to set up a military coalition but to shine a "flashlight" in the region to deter attacks on commercial shipping.

Japan is the world's fourth-biggest oil buyer and 86% of its oil supplies a year ago passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an unsuccessful bid to ease tensions in the region when he met Iranian leaders in Tehran last month.

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