Japan, S. Korea Remain Apart in 2nd-Round WTO Talks

Politics

Geneva, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese and South Korean governments remained apart over Japan's recent tightening of controls on exports to South Korea, in their second round of talks at the World Trade Organization on Tuesday.

The continued stalemate further raised the possibility of the two countries' military information-sharing pact, called the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, expiring at midnight Friday, in line with the South Korean side's decision not to renew the symbolic pact, blaming the tighter Japanese export controls.

The looming GSOMIA expiration was not discussed at the session, held at the WTO headquarters in Geneva for over six and a half hours with a break, informed sources said.

In the Geneva talks, the Japanese delegation included Junichiro Kuroda, director-general of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Multilateral Trade System Department, and the South Korean side was led by Chung Hae-kwan from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Following the meeting, Chung told reporters that South Korea will take the next step, while saying that the country is open to all options including making a request to set up a WTO settlement dispute panel and continuing bilateral talks with Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press