Seoul's Presidential Deputy National Security Advisor says Washington is eager to have high-level trilateral talks with South Korea and Japan to resolve the escalating trade spat between the neighboring countries but added there's no response coming from Tokyo.
"The U.S. expressed how it hopes its two allies can seek a constructive resolution to such issues. Congress also urged us to mend several issues, but there's no response from Japan."
These comments coming shortly after the top presidential official held meetings on Thursday with White House officials, including President Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, to convey Seoul's position in the ongoing trade dispute.
Kim added that White House officials expressed hope the two sides can swiftly resolve the matter, as it won't do Washington any good if it rumbles on.
But when asked about whether the U.S. was willing to play the role of mediator the visiting official remained tightlipped only saying Congress did indicate the Trump administration is willing to help as cooperation among three parties is crucial.
Kim, who formerly served as Seoul's chief negotiator on trade left for Washington Wednesday reportedly with no return ticket reserved indicating the length of his stay depends on the progress he makes on the Japan export curbs issue.
Still to come for Kim are meetings with more U.S. officials including Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman.
Also in Washington is Kim Hee-sang, director-general for bilateral economic affairs at Korea's foreign ministry, who updated officials from the State Department.
"We have thoroughly explained the problems with what Japan is doing how that could influence U.S. and global economies, and how it could all hurt security cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan."
Seoul's efforts to spell out its position to major countries will continue, with trade minister Yoo Myung-hee also due for a meeting with Washington's trade representative next week.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.