South Korea has notified Japan in advance of its plan to remove Tokyo from its list of trusted trading partners and is willing to talk with Japan further if needed, the trade minister said Saturday.
South Korea decided on Monday to remove Japan from its "whitelist" of countries that receive preferential trade status amid a bilateral trade row sparked by Tokyo's July export curbs against Seoul and its subsequent removal of the South from a list of trusted buyers.
"The government had notified Japan of its 'whitelist' move in advance and explained to Tokyo major details and procedures related to the measure," Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo wrote on his Facebook page.
"If additional explanation is needed, we could proceed with it by the way that Japan wants -- whatever it is, consultation or explanation," he said.
In July, Japan imposed restrictions on exports of three key high-tech materials to South Korea following last year's Korean court rulings over compensation related to Japan's wartime forced labor.
Earlier this month, Japan promulgated a move to strip South Korea of its list of countries subject to preferential trade treatment. The move is set to come into effect in late August.
Early this week, South Korea announced its plan to reorganize its export list into three groups of trading partners from the current two, placing Tokyo in the newly established bracket for stricter export control. (Yonhap)