South Korea's Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Hyun-chong arrived in Washington on Wednesday local time to meet U.S. officials and discuss trade and security issues.
"I'm here as there are many issues to discuss with White House officials and lawmakers"
"Will you request U.S. mediation on Japan's trade restrictions?"
"That issue will certainly be discussed. Most definitely."
Kim's trip came a day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged Japan to refrain from leading the situation to a "dead-end" and respond to Seoul's efforts to resolve the matter diplomatically.
Tokyo imposed trade restrictions on key, high-tech materials to South Korea last week, and Seoul and Tokyo clashed at the WTO over the export curbs earlier this week.
Seoul's top diplomat for Bilateral Economic Affairs, Kim Hee-sang, is also in Washington, to meet with U.S. officials, including Marc Knapper, the State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan.
He is expected to outline the potential impact of Tokyo's controversial trade measures and the possible spillover effect on the global supply chain of electronic products.
South Korea's trade minister Yoo Myung-hee is also expected to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer next week.
The trade ministry also confirmed Thursday that working-level trade officials from South Korea and Japan will meet Friday afternoon in Tokyo to discuss Japan's trade restrictions.
It added that it will call on Japan to elaborate on its allegations that South Korea illegally exported items such as hydrogen fluoride to the North, a substance which can be used in chemical weapons.
The ministry said the claims are groundless, adding that South Korea has strong trade controls and that those materials were not shipped to any countries under UN sanctions.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.