South Korea’s top fiscal policymaker said Friday he is likely to meet the top executives of Samsung Group and other ranking conglomerates to address Japan’s export restrictions.
“There seems to be no reason why I shouldn’t meet (with them),” said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.
“I shall confirm (the details) after discussing (the possibility of the meeting) with Cheong Wa Dae.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks in a breakfast forum held at the Korea Press Center on Friday. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
The remarks came in answer to the reporters’ inquiries concerning an earlier report that he along with Presidential Chief of Staff for Policy Kim Sang-jo -- the two top-level officials for the country’s economic policies -- are making arrangements to meet with key industrial officials.
The list would include Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor Group Senior Vice Chairman Chung Euisun, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin.
“The schedule has not yet been fixed. ... I believe that (Kim and Hong) are planning several kinds of meetings,” said an official of the presidential office.
When asked on whether the meeting could deal with Japan’s export curbs, Hong said that he would “refrain from mentioning the issues,” citing diplomatic sensitivity.
On the previous day, the fiscal chief had said that the government is ready to take “corresponding actions,” possibly including a petition to the World Trade Organization. His warning was echoed later by the Blue House’s National Security Council which defined Japan’s latest action as “political retaliation” that is in “breach of international law.”
Japan announced earlier this week that it would tighten regulations on exports of hi-tech industrial materials to Korea. The list includes fluorinated polyimide, which is essential for the production of semiconductors and display panels.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)