South Korea has called for a joint investigation by an international organization into whether Japan or South Korea itself has violated the international sanctions on North Korea.
The proposal was made by first deputy chief at the National Security Office Kim You-geun during a briefing at the Blue House on Friday.
"The Japanese government needs to provide clear evidence of the South Korean government's alleged misconduct and breaking of laws. To end this unnecessary dispute and clarify the truth of Japan's claims, or lack thereof, our government proposes that the two countries request a fair investigation of each country's export control violations by an expert panel at the UN Security Council or another relevant international organization."
This comes after a series of allegations by Japanese officials that South Korea cannot be trusted to faithfully implement North Korea sanctions.
Japanese media have also reported that Seoul has been allowing strategic materials into the North materials that can be used to develop its weapons programme.
Kim expressed deep regret over those claims, and their lack of proof, and made clear that Seoul has been fully enforcing the UN sanctions and other major export control regimes.
He said that Tokyo should ask itself whether it has done the same.
To back his claims, he pointed out that over the past four years, South Korea caught and revealed more than 150 attempts to illegally ship out such materials.
If the joint investigation reveals that South Korea was wrongly accused, Kim demanded that Japan apologize and stop its export restrictions immediately.
"If our government is found to be at fault, we will apologize and correct our mistakes immediately. But if it's discovered that our government has done no wrong, the Japanese government will have to apologize to us, and withdraw the retaliatory export restrictions right away."
"With this, the top office has officially responded to Japan's claims about the North Korea sanctions claims that suddenly change the subject from the forced labor dispute. The proposal has been made, and now the South Korean government waits for an answer. Park Hee-jun, Arirang News."