U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will be encouraging two of the largest allies of Washington, Japan, and South Korea “to find a path forward” from their diplomatic row when he meets their foreign ministers in Bangkok this week.
Since 1965, after Japan and South Korea normalized ties, the relations between the two countries are probably at their lowest point. Both sides have threatened trade actions which could interrupt the global supply of semiconductors.
However, Japan has already made stronger the restrictions on some high-tech materials which are being supposed as a reply to South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese compensation for wartime forced laborers.
After holding meetings with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea separately, Pompeo will have a three-way discussion on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum in Bangkok, Thailand.
Pompeo told the media persons on Tuesday “We will encourage them to find a path forward.”
“They’re both great partners of ours. They’re both working closely with us on our effort to denuclearize North Korea. So if we can help them find a good place for each of the two countries we’ll certainly find that important for the United States,” he added.
Japanese companies had to pay compensation to South Koreans who were forced to work in Japanese factories during Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, directed a South Korean court last year.
Japan had dropped South Korea from a “white list” of countries that enjoy a minimum restriction which South Korea is bracing said Seoul’s foreign minister on Tuesday.