South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has sent a senior official to Washington D.C. Wednesday to meet with U.S. officials over Japan’s latest export curbs against South Korea. As Japan shows signs of seeking U.S. support for its move on grounds of South Korea’s possible violation of North Korean sanctions, Seoul tries to make its case against Tokyo through Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of the National Security Office at Cheong Wa Dae and a trade expert who led South Korea’s free trade negotiations with the U.S.
After arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport on Wednesday (local time), Kim went directly to White House to meet with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to explain Seoul’s position on Tokyo’s export restriction and seek U.S. cooperation. Kim is also scheduled to meet with some U.S. lawmakers on Thursday, before sitting together with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Charles Kupperman.
Speaking to reporters at Dulles International Airport, Kim said he had “many issues” to discuss with officials at the White House and Congress. Asked if he plans to seek U.S. mediation to resolve the Seoul-Tokyo trade row, Kim said, “That issue will be discussed, too.”
As its diplomatic war with Japan is in full swing, Cheong Wa Dae plans to step up its efforts to win international support for Seoul’s case against Tokyo’s export curbs. “We plan to fully mobilize the international coordination system that President Moon Jae-in has built,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. The official did not deny the possibility that it will try to send a special envoy to Japan, vowing to make an announcement when the idea ripens enough to “go above the surface.”
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