News ID: 258876
Published: 0522 GMT September 17, 2019

South Korea removes Japan from ‘white list’

South Korea removes Japan from ‘white list’

South Korea says it has approved plans to drop Japan from its "white list" of countries, which benefit from fast-track trade status, a tit-for-tat move that intensifies a diplomatic and trade spat between the two countries.

Tighter trade regulations that come into force Wednesday include longer permit application processes and additional paperwork. They will apply to South Korean exports to Japan related to weapons production, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said in a statement on Tuesday, Presstv Reported.

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since a ruling by South Korea's Supreme Court last year that Japanese companies should compensate South Koreans who were conscripted as forced laborers during World War Two.

Japan announced in August that it was removing South Korea from its own "white list" of countries that have enjoyed minimum trade restrictions, citing an erosion of trust. In July, it imposed tighter controls on exports to South Korea of materials used to make smartphone chips, South Korea's top export item.

South Korea on Monday initiated a World Trade Organization dispute against Japan's latest export curbs. Under WTO rules, South Korea and Japan should meet within 30 days, and if these talks fail, South Korea can request adjudication by a dispute settlement panel.

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