Published: Sat, July 20, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump says he is willing to help in Japan, South Korea dispute

Trump says he is willing to help in Japan, South Korea dispute

His comments came the day after a deadline set by Tokyo for Seoul to name an arbitrator for the dispute.

Tokyo says the move was made necessary by a "loss of trust" in relations with Seoul, but also accuses South Korea of improperly handling exports of sensitive materials from Japan.

Seoul has accused Tokyo of weaponizing trade to retaliate against the South Korean court rulings on compensating forced labour and plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

Japan's official position regarding its former colony maintain that a 1965 agreement resolved the issue of damages.

Later, South Korea's foreign ministry rejected Japan's call for third-party arbitration as arbitrary and said Japan must instead remember the wrongs it committed during colonial rule and make efforts to heal the wound.

The tussle that started from a simmering row over Japan's wartime forced labor has been escalating into the economic domain with Tokyo's July 4 measure to tighten restrictions on exports to South Korea of key industrial materials.

In Seoul, a 78-year-old South Korean man died hours after setting himself ablaze near the Japanese Embassy on Friday, police said.

The two US allies have increasingly been at loggerheads as flaring tensions over Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula threaten to damage economic and defense ties that had previously seemed immune. "It is extremely impertinent to propose it again by pretending to not know that".

Tokyo is considering taking the issue to the International Court of Justice, although some officials say South Korea is expected to refuse going to court.

The signing itself marked a shift for the better in the checkered relationship between two countries that have been plagued by a series of feuds over Japan's wartime atrocities, including its sexual slavery, and its claim to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.

The man died in hospital, the official said.

The 78-year-old man, surnamed Kim, drove up to the building around1820 GMT Thursday (3:20 am Friday), stopped in front of the gate and set fire to the auto while sitting in it, an official at Seoul's Jongno Fire Station said.

The move triggered anger in Seoul, but also raised worldwide concern about the effect on the global tech supply chain and the possibility of price hikes for consumers.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics 005930.KS has sent letters to partners urging them to stockpile more Japanese components in case Tokyo expands its export restrictions.

Japan's foreign minister on Friday summoned South Korea's ambassador and accused Seoul of violating global law by refusing to join in an arbitration panel to settle a dispute over forced labour during the Second World War. But he added that the government is mindful of other factors, such as how to ease victims' pain while preserving relations with Japan.

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