South Korea: Bolton meets with officials as trade dispute with Japan rumbles on

US National Security Advisor John Bolton met with Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss a range of bilateral issues as trade tensions between South Korea and Japan continued to escalate. Among other issues, Bolton is also expected to discuss a US-led military coalition to safeguard shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

The US advisor reportedly met South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong, as well as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Bolton arrived in the South Korean capital on Tuesday night for a two day visit, after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and other officials during his visit to the country on Monday.

US President Donald Trump recently offered to help ease tensions between the US’s two biggest Asian allies over the issue of compensation for South Koreans forced to work for the Japanese occupiers during World War 2, with Japan reportedly retaliating by restricting exports of three chemicals used in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat display panels to South Korea. Japan has denied that the dispute over compensation is behind the export curbs, which could hurt global technology companies, and has stated instead that national security concerns lie behind their decision.


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