Research by a U.S. think-tank shows South Korea's level of trade control on strategic assets is higher than that of Japan.
The U.S. Institute for Science and International Security placed South Korea in 17th and Japan in 36th place.
The ranking is determined by criteria, including international commitments to prevent strategic commodity trafficking.
Compared to the think tank's report in 2017, South Korea has gone up 15 notches and Japan has gone down by seven.
The latest report was published in May, where North Korea came in at last place.