President Moon Jae-in (L) attends an event to mark South Korea's two-year response to Japan's export control at the Korea International Trade Association in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in attended an event Friday to commemorate South Korea's successful response so far to Japan's unilateral export curbs.
He described Tokyo's measure, launched in early July 2019, as tantamount to a "surprise attack." It restricted exports of three key industrial materials -- photoresist, etching gas and fluorinated polyimide -- to South Korea, apparently in protest against its handling of diplomatic issues related to shared history.
The Moon administration soon opted to develop its own materials, components and equipment sectors, and diversify import channels.
"And the achievement is far bigger and more pronounced than we expected," the president said in a speech at the headquarters of the Korea International Trade Association in Seoul.
He stressed that South Korea has turned the crisis into an opportunity and gained confidence.
For instance, he added, dependence on Japan for etching gas used for chip production has dropped to below 20 percent from around 50 percent over the past two years.
South Korea has secured its own technology for fluorinated polyimide, an important material for smartphone displays, even enough to export the product.
"Dependence on Japan has been reduced to 25 percent for the top 100 core items, which account for a high proportion of domestic industries," he added.
He reaffirmed full support for the continued development of such core strategic industries as semiconductors and batteries. South Korea is campaigning to play a leading role in the stabilization of global supply chains in cutting-edge businesses.
The government is also continuing to work toward a diplomatic resolution to the issue of export curbs, he added. (Yonhap)