Trump’s East Asia Headache: South Korea-Japan Spat Deepens

President Moon, Prime MInister ABe, and Vice President Pence, cc S. Herman (Voice of America), modified,,_Moon_Jae-in,_Pence_in_Pyeongchang.png

Relations between Japan and South Korea have been deteriorating on several fronts over the past few months.

Though historical issues such as a lack of compensation and contrition for Japan’s World War II misdeeds always loom large over the bilateral relationship, this latest spike in mutual hostility follows the unilateral imposition of new trade restrictions by Tokyo.

First came a decision at the beginning of July to impose new restrictions on the export of fluorinated polyamide, photoresists, and hydrogen fluoride etching gas – three chemicals that are essential in the chip-making process and are an important input for the South Korean semiconductor industry.

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