South Korea is requesting the United States mediate in a bitter diplomatic row with Japan over Tokyo’s moves to tighten controls on high-tech exports to its neighboring U.S. ally.

South Korea said Thursday its Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha discussed the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone and conveyed Seoul’s view that Japan’s “undesirable” trade curbs could disrupt global supply chains and hurt trilateral cooperation among the countries.

The ministry says Pompeo expressed an “understanding” of South Korea’s position and agreed to help facilitate communication through diplomatic channels among Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2018, file photo, South Korean Lee Chun-sik, center, a 94-year-old victim of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula before the end of World War II, sits on a wheelchair upon his arrival outside the Supreme Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean court rulings ordering major Japanese corporation Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. compensate South Korean plaintiffs for forced labor during World War II. The banner reads:
FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2018, file photo, South Korean Lee Chun-sik, center, a 94-year-old victim of forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula before the end of World War II, sits on a wheelchair upon his arrival outside the Supreme Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean court rulings ordering major Japanese corporation Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. compensate South Korean plaintiffs for forced labor during World War II. The banner reads: “Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation should compensate and apologize to victims of forced labor.” (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of South Korea’s presidential National Security Office, arrived in Washington on Wednesday and told reporters he would discuss the trade spat with Japan with U.S. officials.

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 10, 2019, file photo, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, third from right, speaks during a meeting with business leaders at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. Moon criticized comments by Japanese officials who questioned the credibility of Seoul's sanctions against North Korea while justifying Tokyo's move to strengthen controls on high-tech exports to South Korea. Moon said his government was committed to resolving the matter diplomatically and urged Japan to refrain from pushing the situation to a
FILE – In this Wednesday, July 10, 2019, file photo, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, third from right, speaks during a meeting with business leaders at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. Moon criticized comments by Japanese officials who questioned the credibility of Seoul’s sanctions against North Korea while justifying Tokyo’s move to strengthen controls on high-tech exports to South Korea. Moon said his government was committed to resolving the matter diplomatically and urged Japan to refrain from pushing the situation to a “dead-end street.” (Bae Jae-man/Yonhap via AP, File)
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Samsung Electronics' microchips are displayed at its store in Seoul, South Korea. Japan is a major supplier of materials used to make the computer chips that run most devices. As of July 4, 2019, Japanese government tightened the approval process for Japanese shipments of photoresists and other sensitive materials to South Korean companies, which need the chemicals to produce semiconductors and display screens used in TVs and smartphones. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Samsung Electronics’ microchips are displayed at its store in Seoul, South Korea. Japan is a major supplier of materials used to make the computer chips that run most devices. As of July 4, 2019, Japanese government tightened the approval process for Japanese shipments of photoresists and other sensitive materials to South Korean companies, which need the chemicals to produce semiconductors and display screens used in TVs and smartphones. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Featured Video