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Korea-Japan Trade Dispute and the U.S. Security Mechanism in Northeast Asia Updated: 2019-08-14 04:22:59 KST

South Korea, earlier this week, announced that it was removing Japan from a list of trusted trading partners after Tokyo dropped Seoul as a preferred trading partner earlier this month.
Not only is the trade row already disrupting the global supply chain for big tech companies, it leaves security analysts worried about the strength of the U.S.' security alliance architecture in Northeast Asia which is structured around its key Asian allies, South Korea and Japan.
Let's get an in-depth analysis. Joining me live from New York is Stephen Noerper, Senior Director of the Korea Society. His previous posts include senior analyst at the U.S. State Department.
Stephen Noerper, welcome to the program.

As a security analyst and specialist in this part of the region, what are your thoughts as you watch the dispute escalate by the day between South Korea and Japan?

Not only in terms of disrupting the global supply chain and impact on the regional as well as the global economy, but, looking at it from security perspective, does the rift between the two neighboring countries - some say Seoul, Japan relations have never been worse - concern you?

What is the general sentiment or feeling about the deteriorating ties between Seoul and Tokyo in the U.S. - the academia, political and diplomatic circles?

For the last few weeks, Washington has stuck to its stance that it encourages dialogue between Seoul and Tokyo, but that it will not mediate or arbitrate the dispute.
In the past, it's mostly been the case that the U.S.- even if behind doors - would intervene and try to mend ties between its two key Asian allies. We haven't seen that, yet although we have heard that Tokyo and Seoul refused to take Washington's "standstill agreement."
Why aren't they taking a more proactive role this time and should it?

Stephen Noerper, Senior Director of the Korea Society a longtime expert in Northeast Asia, many thanks for your insights this morning. We appreciate it.
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