South Korea plans to send a high-level official directly handling free trade issues to a World Trade Organization(WTO) council this week to protest Japan’s trade restrictions.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Monday that Kim Seung-ho, deputy minister for multilateral and legal affairs at the ministry, will attend the WTO General Council meeting to be held in Geneva on Tuesday.
WTO council meetings are usually attended by ambassadors deployed to deal with issues regarding multilateral and international organizations, but Seoul decided to dispatch Kim this time given the grave ramifications of the Japanese export curbs against South Korea.
The WTO General Council functions as the top decision-making body for the global trade institution on behalf of the ministerial conference that is held biennially.
During this week's meeting, where representatives from more than 160 member states will discuss pending global trade issues, Kim plans to point out that Japan's trade measures run counter to the WTO’s free trade principles as well as Tokyo’s own stance on free trade.
Meanwhile, the South Korean ministry said it will submit Seoul’s official opinions on the trade restrictions to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Tuesday.