SEOUL - The Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan agreed to hold director general-level trade talks next month in Tokyo after ROK's decision last week to suspend the termination of its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, Seoul's trade ministry said Friday.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement that working-level talks between the two sides were held in Seoul on Thursday to prepare for the director general-level dialogue.
ROK and Japan have agreed to hold the director general-level dialogue from Dec 16-20 in Tokyo, ROK's trade ministry said. The two sides will hold preparation talks for the director general-level dialogue in Vienna on Dec 4
After the working-level meeting, ROK and Japan agreed to hold the director general-level dialogue from Dec 16-20 in Tokyo, the trade ministry noted.
During the director general-level talks, the two sides will exchange opinions on the domestic and external situations relevant to export control.
The two countries agreed to hold preparation talks for the director general-level dialogue in Vienna on Dec 4.
The Seoul-Tokyo trade talks agreement came after ROK's decision last Friday to suspend the termination of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) as long as trade talks with Japan go on normally.
The GSOMIA was signed in November 2016 by ROK and Japan to share military intelligence on nuclear and missile programs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
ROK decided in August to terminate the GSOMIA as Japan imposed export curbs on ROK for what it called security reasons.
In July, Japan tightened regulations on its export of three materials to ROK. vital to produce memory chips and display panels that are the mainstay of the South Korean export.
In August, Japan dropped South Korea off its whitelist of trusted trading partners that are given preferential export procedure. In response, Seoul removed Tokyo from its whitelist of trusted export partners.
South Korea believed that Japan's export restrictions came in protest of ROK top court's rulings that ordered some of Japanese firms to compensate ROK victims who were forced into hard labor without pay during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula.
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