See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

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

Diplomacy

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By The Korea Herald
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Dawn
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

China, US in constant touch to resolve trade issues

China and the United States are in constant touch to resolve pending trade and economic issues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The comment came ahead of Sunday’s US deadline for another scheduled round of tariff increases on Chinese imports worth almost $160 billion. If a trade deal is not struck by Sunday, computer monitors and toys will be among the Chinese export items likely to be affected. Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has already worked out tariff exemptions on some soybean, pork and other products shipped from the US — the latest sign of tensions easing in the protracted trade conflict. The US seems to resort to brinkmanship by using a tariff deadline to pressure China in the ongoing trade talks for a phase one, preliminary deal, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges


By China Daily
December 13, 2019