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South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in called on Japan to scale back the restrictions imposed on the high-tech materials exported to South Korea against a dispute over compensation for forced wartime labor, in his first public remarks on Japan-South Korea trade spat.

Key Quotes:

The vicious cycle of actions and counteractions is not desirable at all for both countries.

Would prioritize development of home-grown high-tech equipment and materials and South Korea would improve the trade deficit with Japan in the long term.

South Korea could not rule out countermeasures if the Japanese action inflicted damage on South Korean companies, although he said he did not want to see that.

South Korea is planning to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Japan’s restrictions.