See More on Facebook


Bolton to visit Korea, Japan amid rising tension

UN national security adviser expected to ask Korea to contribute to protecting Strait of Hormuz.

Written by

Updated: July 21, 2019

US national security adviser John Bolton will visit South Korea this week after a stop in Japan to discuss the two US allies’ deepening row following Tokyo’s decision to curb the trade of materials crucial for the production of memory chips to Seoul.

National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis wrote on Twitter that Bolton departed Saturday for Japan and Korea to “continue conversations with critical allies and friends,” without elaborating on details.

Bolton will make a two-day trip to Korea on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung on Sunday, after US President Donald Trump offered Friday to help ease tensions between the two East Asian countries.

“If they need me, I’m there. Hopefully they can work it out. But they do have tension, there’s no question about it,” he said, adding, “it’s a full-time job getting involved between Japan and South Korea.”

During his visit, Bolton will meet his counterpart Chung Eui-yong, director of national security at Cheong Wa Dae, as well as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa and Defense Minister Jeong Kyung-doo.

Along with the US’ mediator role in settling discord between its key allies in the region, the US adviser will discuss issues regarding denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a permanent peace regime in the region.

He is also expected to request Korean officials to send troops to protect the Strait of Hormuz, strategically vital waters off Iran amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The neighbors’ conflict was exacerbated Friday when Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono summoned Korean Ambassador Nam Gwan-pyo after Seoul turned down Tokyo’s proposal for the formation of a third-country arbitration to resolve historical disputes stemming from Japan’s brutal acts during the 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Kono said that Tokyo will take “necessary measures” against Korea if Japanese companies’ interests are harmed.

The firms in question — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. — were ordered by Seoul’s Supreme Court last year to compensate Koreans forced into slave labor during World War II.

Responding to Kono’s remark, Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Japan still has not done enough to make amends for the suffering that Koreans had gone through during the colonial period and that it should discuss ways to find solutions acceptable to both sides.

As the companies refuse to follow the ruling, Korean plaintiffs have sought or plan to seek the Korean court’s approval for the seizure and liquidation of the companies’ local assets.

While Japan believes all compensation issues had been settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized relations, the Korean court ruled that individuals had the right to seek reparations beyond the state-to-state accord.

Japan’s Kono asserted that Korea violated international law by failing to intervene to stop the court process while Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae’s National Security Office, said Tokyo had breached international law by committing crimes against humanity with the forced labor.

Making a bad situation worse was Tokyo’s July 1 decision to restrict the exports of hi-tech materials to Korea, which Seoul believes is a retaliatory measure in protest of the Supreme Court’s rulings, and has triggered concerns about disruptions in global supply chains.

“We hope that the Japanese government would withdraw its unilateral pressure, including the export restrictions of retaliatory character, and return to the stage of diplomatic resolutions,” Seoul’s ministry said in the statement.

Seoul will raise the issue in a meeting of the General Council of the World Trade Organization, which is set to convene in Geneva on Monday and Tuesday (local time) for Tokyo’s use of trade to retaliate against Seoul.

Tokyo said taking the case to the International Court of Justice is one of its options on the table.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress

By The Statesman
October 18, 2019


Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 

By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019


S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e

By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019


We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri

By Dawn
October 17, 2019


Singapore’s 4G leadership lays out plans to take relationship with China ‘to a higher level’

The two countries share a close relationship. Singapore’s fourth-generation leadership has a comprehensive plan for engaging with China economically and plugging into the East Asian giant’s rapid development. Ten members of the “4G” cohort drove home this point as they spoke with Singapore media at the end of a bilateral meeting in Chongqing on Tuesday (Oct 15) that was of particular significance, as the Singapore team was composed fully of this new generation of political leaders. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat led the Singapore delegation as he co-chaired the 15th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, the highest-level bilateral platform between Singapore and China. Mr Heng, who took over the reins from former DPM Teo Chee Hean earlier this year, said his first meeting in the new role was forward-looking and productive, and that he took the opportunity to “

By The Straits Times
October 16, 2019


Prince William pays tribute to Pakistanis who lost their lives to terror

The future King has met the current Pakistan Prime Minister when he was a boy. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, on Tuesday paid tribute to all those who “endured sacrifice and helped build Pakistan to the country it is today”. His remarks came during his first official speech delivered during a reception at the Pakistan National Monument in Islamabad hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew. “For a country so young, Pakistan has endured many hardships, with countless lives lost to terror and hatred. Tonight I want to pay tribute to all those who have endured such sacrifice and helped to build the country that we see today,” said William. He recognised that for “Pakistan’s great potential” to be realised, difficulties will have to be faced and sacrifices made. William also spoke of the “unique bonds” between

By Dawn
October 16, 2019