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South Korea to drop Japan's trade status in tit-for-tat move

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South Korea to drop Japans trade status in tit-for-tat move
South Korea to drop Japan's trade status in tit-for-tat move. picture-alliance/AP/J. Sung-Chul
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South Korea's Trade Ministry said on Monday that from September it will remove Japan from its list of countries receiving preferential treatment in trade.

The move deepens an ongoing trade rift between the countries.

The decision to shift Tokyo to a new trade group comes after Japan imposed export restrictions on South Korea.

Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said that Japan would be put in a newly created trade category of countries that have not run their export control systems in line with "international export control principles."

Tit-for-tat move

Park Tae-sung, a senior South Korean Trade Ministry official, said that Japan had been designated the first country in the new group because of inappropriate trade practices, but did not provide details.

The tighter trade regulations, which include potential lengthy permit application processes, will apply to South Korean exports to Japan.

Japan announced earlier this month that it was removing South Korea from its own "white list" of countries that enjoy minimum trade restrictions, saying there had been a loss of trust.

Relations decline

Relations between Japan and South Korea have deteriorated following a ruling by South Korea's Supreme Court last year that Japanese companies should compensate South Koreans who were conscripted as forced laborers during World War Two.

The Japanese government has not yet issued a public response to Monday's announcement, but a senior Foreign Ministry official told broadcaster NHK that a response would come after more analysis of the details of South Korea's decision.

law/tj (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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