Kang Urges Kono to Keep S. Korea on Japan's "White" List


Bangkok, Aug. 1 (Jiji Press)--South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha urged her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, on Thursday not to remove Seoul from Tokyo's "white" list of trusted trading partners qualified for preferential treatment in export procedures, South Korean media reported.

At their meeting in Bangkok, Kang explained to Kono grave impacts that would be caused on the bilateral relationship if the Japanese government makes a cabinet decision to oust South Korea from the list.

Kono informed Kang of Japan's position on the trade issue.

The Japanese minister reiterated Tokyo's request that Seoul correct its violation of international law over the issue of wartime labor. The Kono-Kang meeting ended without any progress on the issue, sources with access to the talks said.

Last year, South Korea's supreme court ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Koreans requisitioned to work for them during World War II. Tokyo takes the position that the wartime labor issue was settled by the bilateral pact on property and rights, concluded when the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1965.

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