N. Korea berates Japan for its export curbs against S. Korea

Walter Fall, July 18, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

North Korea's official news agency on Thursday lashed out at Japan over its export restrictions against South Korea, calling for an apology and compensation for its wartime atrocities.

Earlier this month, Japan tightened regulations on exports to South Korea of materials essential for the production of semiconductors and flexible displays in a move widely seen as retaliation for last year's South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

In a commentary, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Japan's "arrogant" economic retaliation is "infuriating the whole nation."

"What's more troubling is that Japan is citing an absurd reason to justify its move, saying that the key components of semiconductors can flow into the North via South Korea," the commentary said.

Japan has said that South Korea might have been negligent in the management of some dual-use items affected by United Nations resolutions against North Korea, a claim denied by South Korea.

"It is ... an expression of Japan's hostile policy against the North and an intolerable political challenge against our republic," the KCNA said.

"Japan, which still stands as a defendant in the court of history, has no words to say even if it has 10 mouths," the commentary added.

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