Pompeo Urges Japan, S. Korea to Deescalate Tensions

Politics

Bangkok, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Friday to deescalate tensions between the two Asian neighbors over trade and history issues.

At their trilateral meeting in Bangkok, however, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, remained apart over the issue of wartime labor and Japan's tightening of export controls on South Korea, according to sources familiar with their talks.

Kang demanded that Japan withdraw its decision on Friday to remove South Korea from its list of countries entitled to preferential treatment in export controls.

Kono claimed that the decision was made on national security grounds, stressing that the move is not a retaliatory measure against South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms to pay damages to South Korean plaintiffs over wartime labor.

Pompeo did not make specific proposals aimed at easing tensions between Japan and South Korea, Japanese officials said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press