South Korean President Moon Jae-In

South Korea on Friday said it would hold talks with Japan in March in its latest attempt to resolve the two countries’ months long trade row.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Lee Ho-hyeon, South Korea’s Director-General for International Trade Policy, is set to meet with his Japanese counterpart, Yoichi Iida, in Seoul on March 10.

In December, the two neighbours held their first Director-General-level talks since 2016, but failed to make progress toward loosening their export control systems.

Ties between Seoul and Tokyo have been deadlocked since July when Japan imposed tighter regulations on exports to South Korea of three materials critical for the production of semiconductors and flexible displays.

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However, Japan later removed Seoul from its list of trusted trading partners.

South Korea wants Japan to put it back on the white-list, but Japan said the issue should be handled separately.

South Korea views Japanese moves as retaliation against 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labour during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap/NAN)