The Korea Herald


Korea better than Japan in strategic trade controls: US think tank

By Kim So-hyun

Published : July 17, 2019 - 17:02

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Korea has exceeded Japan in controlling trade of strategic materials, a report by a US research institute showed, amid a trade spat between the two neighboring countries as Tokyo blamed “weaknesses” in Seoul’s export control system for its latest restrictions in exports to Korea.

South Korea ranked No. 17 among 200 countries surveyed in terms of the effectiveness of national strategic trade controls in a study by the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit think tank. 

(Institute for Science and International Security) (Institute for Science and International Security)

In the Peddling Peril Index for 2019, released by ISIS in May, Japan ranked 36th.

The PPI measures the effectiveness of strategic trade controls using a set of criteria relating to a country’s existing laws, regulations, procedures, practices, international obligations and actions, according to ISIS.

The US was the top scoring country in the PPI, followed by the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Singapore and Portugal.

North Korea, which has continued to violate international sanctions, ranked lowest.

In total, countries could receive a maximum of 1,300 points in the PPI.

Five major criteria categories were: international commitment to preventing strategic commodity trafficking (100 points); legislation that regulates and oversees trade in strategic commodities and criminalizes and aims to prevent strategic commodity trafficking (200 points); ability to monitor and detect strategic trade (200 points); ability to prevent proliferation financing (400 points); and adequacy of enforcement against strategic commodity trafficking (400 points).

South Korea scored 897 points, due to high marks in the international commitment and legislation categories.

Japan scored 818 points, as it received lower marks than South Korea in the ability to prevent proliferation financing.

When the PPI was first introduced in 2017, Japan ranked No. 29 and South Korea came 32nd.

South Korea’s level of strategic trade control improved significantly over the past two years, while Japan fell behind.

ISIS said that the PPI measures the real status of the implementation of states’ strategic trade controls, with a focus on efforts to prevent nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and missile commodity trafficking. It also said the central purpose of the PPI is to provide guidance for efforts to improve states’ strategic trade control systems and aid capacity building efforts.

“Overall, the state of strategic trade controls is not adequate,” ISIS said in its report.

“A priority should be developing and maintaining effective national strategic trade control systems throughout the world.”

By Kim So-hyun (