US Expands Mediating Role in South Korea-Japan Dispute

As a trade dispute rooted in historical tensions spirals toward a full-blown trade war between Japan and South Korea, there are signs the United States is starting to take a bigger mediating role.The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, who visited Japan earlier this week, met Wednesday with top South Korean officials in Seoul, where he urged a quick resolution to the dispute.“The U.S., as close friends and allies to both, will do what it can to support their efforts to resolve [the situation],” said David Stillwell, the new U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talks with David Stilwell, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, during a meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul, July 17, 2019.The crisis erupted earlier this month when Japan restricted exports of high-tech materials to South Korea. The materials are used to produce semiconductors and displays in smartphones and other electronics that are key to South Korea’s export-driven economy.In restricting the materials, Tokyo cited national security reasons. But the move is widely seen as retaliation for recent South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate Koreans who were forced to work during Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea.The U.S. is traditionally reluctant to become too involved in issues related to contentious historical disputes between South Korea and Japan, which are both key allies of Washington. The Trump administration has especially taken a hands-off approach during the current round of tensions.Speaking in Japan last week, Stillwell told Japanese broadcaster NHK he doesn’t “plan to mediate or engage, other than to encourage both sides to focus on the key issues in the region, especially with North Korea.”Wide-ranging effectsSince then, the situation has only worsened.Notices campaigning for a boycott of... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, US Expands Mediating Role in South Korea-Japan Dispute, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you US Expands Mediating Role in South Korea-Japan Dispute





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Wednesday, 17 July



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