Cheong Wa Dae confirmed July 4 that its senior officials had a series of consultations with Samsung Electronics over Japan’s export control of a core memory chip component.
Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of the presidential National Security Office, met with Kim Ki-nam, a Samsung vice chairman leading its global semiconductor business sector, earlier this week.
Having served as a top government official on trade, Kim Hyun-chong is in charge of national security issues at the presidential office.
He led negotiations with the United States on forging and revising a bilateral free trade agreement.
A Cheong Wa Dae official noted that the trade issue is associated with the national interest. Tokyo took the economic retaliatory measure apparently in line with a diplomatic row with Seoul over historical issues.
Kim Sang-jo, presidential chief of staff for policy, has also had a meeting with the Samsung official.
The Japanese government announced over the weekend that it would toughen regulations on the export of some high-tech materials to Korea, including those used in memory chips and smartphones.
Ostensibly, Cheong Wa Dae has responded cautiously to Japan’s move as it seeks forward-looking bilateral relations, separate from the history rift.
However, Cheong Wa Dae officials have been in informal contact with related businesses to discuss how to cope with the matter.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)