Presidential national security advisor Kim Hyun-chong says Tokyo is clearly violating the WTO principles of free trade and international law through its unilateral export curbs, and once again called on Japan to retract the measures.
Regarding top Japanese diplomat Taro Kono's remarks that Seoul is not abiding by a 1965 bilateral treaty, the top aide said such claims are 'incorrect.'
"We would like to emphasize that it was Japan which violated international law by committing crimes against humanity in the form of forced labor. This is what the Supreme Court of Korea pointed out."
Kim said South Korea had followed all standard procedures to resolve the issue of forced labor with Japan, through regular diplomatic channels.
The top aide also flatly rejected Japan's proposal for a third-party arbitration process, for which it has set a July 18th deadline for Seoul to respond.
"Japan has been repeatedly calling for a resolution through arbitration in accordance with the Claims Settlement Agreement, but we have never agreed to the deadline that Japan has set arbitrarily and unilaterally."
Korea's presidential office says it hopes to extend the General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan for the time being.
But it noted, that the deal will be "objectively scrutinized" both "qualitatively and quantitatively in terms of the information the two sides have exchanged", to see how helpful it is to Seoul.
In other words, the bilateral military information-sharing accord will be dealt separately from Japan's economic retaliations.
"With the long-fraught relations between Seoul and Tokyo on trade further escalating by the day, a high-ranking official here at the top office implied that the dispute could extend into the long-term even after Japan’s Upper House elections next week. Shin Se-min, Arirang News.