[ED] US mediation

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[ED] US mediation

Japan should accept three-way fence-mending talks

South Korea is seeking help from the U.S. in resolving a trade dispute with Japan. According to National Security Office deputy chief Kim Hyun-chong, who is meeting U.S. trade officials and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. government has offered to hold a three-way meeting with the two allies to discuss the matter.

It would be something to be welcomed if the trilateral meeting is realized. Given Japan's trade restrictions on South Korea could damage the U.S. alliance with the two countries, not to mention the global supply of concerned goods, Washington needs to actively mediate before it is too late.

Finding solutions could be extremely difficult because behind the ongoing spat are tensions over historical issues stemming from Japan's colonial rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945. We understand that the never-ending historical disputes between Korea and Japan could be frustrating for the U.S. However, it is undeniable that the root cause of the problem is the lack of repentance in Japan about past wrongdoings and a lack of consideration for the feelings of the Korean people.

And we all know that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was behind the recent export curbs against South Korea, as they reflected his need to boost his right-wing support base ahead of upper house elections scheduled for late July.

Abe should realize that the export restrictions could bring about undesired effects. Cheong Wa Dae confirmed a media report, Thursday, that Russia has offered a deal to provide hydrogen fluoride, one of the restricted items, to South Korea. A presidential spokesman said the Russian offer is under consideration.

The proposed U.S. mediation over the trade dispute can also have a strategic importance for its handling of North Korea because a breakdown of Seoul-Tokyo relations could complicate its denuclearization efforts.

The U.S. State Department expressed its commitment to strengthening ties with both South Korea and Japan, Thursday, refusing to mention the matter directly.

Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, "Japan and South Korea are of course not only friends, they are allies," adding the U.S. will do everything it can to pursue ways to strengthen relationships between and amongst all three countries, both publicly and behind the scenes.

The U.S. is apparently taking a cautious stance on the trade dispute because it is well aware of what lies beneath the escalating tensions between the allies. But it is obvious that, if the dispute is prolonged, it won't be helpful to any of the three countries.


Japan should accept three-way fence-mending talks

South Korea is seeking help from the U.S. in resolving a trade dispute with Japan. According to National Security Office deputy chief Kim Hyun-chong, who is meeting U.S. trade officials and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. government has offered to hold a three-way meeting with the two allies to discuss the matter.

It would be something to be welcomed if the trilateral meeting is realized. Given Japan's trade restrictions on South Korea could damage the U.S. alliance with the two countries, not to mention the global supply of concerned goods, Washington needs to actively mediate before it is too late.

Finding solutions could be extremely difficult because behind the ongoing spat are tensions over historical issues stemming from Japan's colonial rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945. We understand that the never-ending historical disputes between Korea and Japan could be frustrating for the U.S. However, it is undeniable that the root cause of the problem is the lack of repentance in Japan about past wrongdoings and a lack of consideration for the feelings of the Korean people.

And we all know that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was behind the recent export curbs against South Korea, as they reflected his need to boost his right-wing support base ahead of upper house elections scheduled for late July.

Abe should realize that the export restrictions could bring about undesired effects. Cheong Wa Dae confirmed a media report, Thursday, that Russia has offered a deal to provide hydrogen fluoride, one of the restricted items, to South Korea. A presidential spokesman said the Russian offer is under consideration.

The proposed U.S. mediation over the trade dispute can also have a strategic importance for its handling of North Korea because a breakdown of Seoul-Tokyo relations could complicate its denuclearization efforts.

The U.S. State Department expressed its commitment to strengthening ties with both South Korea and Japan, Thursday, refusing to mention the matter directly.

Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, "Japan and South Korea are of course not only friends, they are allies," adding the U.S. will do everything it can to pursue ways to strengthen relationships between and amongst all three countries, both publicly and behind the scenes.

The U.S. is apparently taking a cautious stance on the trade dispute because it is well aware of what lies beneath the escalating tensions between the allies. But it is obvious that, if the dispute is prolonged, it won't be helpful to any of the three countries.




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