Japan says it won't retract or renegotiate export rules on S. Korea

A retail outlet posts a notice stating that is neither selling nor buying Japanese products amid signs of the spreading of a boycott campaign in Seoul

Pompeo said he understood and both men agreed to continue to cooperate and to strengthen communication between the three sides, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

But according to the documents revealed by Ha, who sits on the National Assembly's National Defense Committee, direct shipments of the chemicals in question had been sent to the North from Japan without going through South Korea.

During the phone talks, Kang said Japan's trade restriction steps would cause damage to South Korean companies and have a negative impact on the world trade order as well as USA firms, by disrupting the global supply system. A Japanese company allegedly shipped 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of sodium fluoride illegally through Osaka, Japan, in January 1996, and again that February, when 50 kilograms of hydrogen fluoride apparently left Kobe, Japan, for North Korea. South Korea's Minister for Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki has called on Japan to revoke the trade restrictions as it would negatively impact the global economy. The signs read: "We don't sell Japanese products".

The State Department said the two reaffirmed their commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea and the importance of trilateral cooperation between the United States, Japan and South Korea.

In a meeting with South Korean business leaders at Seoul's presidential palace, Moon said his government was committed to resolving the matter diplomatically and urged Japan to refrain from pushing the situation to a "dead-end street".

Moon on Wednesday met executives from several companies to discuss the crisis, telling them the decision by Tokyo was meant to damage South Korea's economy, AFP reports.

The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that Seoul plans to file a complaint with the WTO.

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It said the U.S. But it's unclear whether the Trump administration would be willing to intervene.

However, analysts say that while Washington is unhappy with the South Korea-Japan dispute, which also saw the countries clash at the World Trade Organization (WTO) this week, it is unlikely to become a mediator. It will likely use the meeting to explain and reaffirm its stance, the ministry said.

IMMEDIATE IMPLICATIONS OF JAPAN'S TIGHTER CONTROLS: Japan is a major supplier of materials used to make the computer chips that run most devices, including Apple iPhones and laptop computers. Japanese officials say those materials can be exported only to the trustworthy, alluding to security risks, while denying Seoul's view that the measure was retaliation as the two countries' ties deteriorate over historical issues.

President Moon Jae-in has said South Korea could not rule out countermeasures for damage to its firms.

The latest dispute stems from a South Korean court ruling a year ago that ordered Nippon Steel Corp.to compensate former forced laborers. The banner reads: "Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation should compensate and apologize to victims of forced labor".

It was unclear if any cases involved Japanese imports or were the main reason for Japan's decision to impose stricter controls on exports to South Korea.

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