Regarding the alleged leakage of the South Korean company's hydrogen Fluoride to North Korea being raised by Japanese politicians and media, Park Tae-sung, an official from the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said on July 11 that Korean government again urges Japan to stop trying to denigrate the Korean strategic goods export control system.
South Korea's Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo stressed on July 9 that there is no evidence that the hydrogen fluoride imported from Japan has been leaked to countries subject to U.N. resolutions, including North Korea.
"Relevant companies are granted export permits under local laws regarding control of exports of strategic goods," Sung said. "And we have reaffirmed that companies are also properly fulfilling their various duties."
"South Korea has joined all four major international export control systems and three major treaties, and has been operating export control systems on an exemplary basis," he added. "No country, including Japan, has ever questioned the reliability of our export control system."
The South Korean government said it has confirmed that no Japanese-made hydrogen fluoride has been shipped to North Korea via South Korea in cases that the Japanese Ministry of Economy and Industry made public on the website of Center for Information on Security Trade Control (CISTEC).
Some Japanese media raised suspicions that there were a total of 156 cases of smuggling of strategic goods from South Korea between 2015 and March 2019.
In response, Park said, "The cases that Japanese media reported in which the Korean companies were caught by exporting the hydrogen Fluoride without permission from Korea were the cases of exporting it to the UAE, Vietnam and Malaysia," Park said. "At that time, the hydrogene Fluoride was not even from Japan."
"Japan suspects the effectiveness of the export control system on the grounds that it has a large number of cases of detection, which is tantamount to an argument that it cannot trust the U.S. export control system, which has a large number of unauthorized export cases," he said. "Countries like the U.S., which are considered to operate the world's strongest export control system, are also caught unauthorized exports."
Rep. Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareunmirae Party, meanwhile, said on July 11 that Japan had been confirmed to have smuggled strategic materials, including hydrogen fluoride, to North Korea in the past.
"Japan has recently insisted on sophistry that South Korea may have smuggled the hydrogen fluid used in nuclear weapons to North Korea," Ha said. "But I have obtained the data that Japan was the country that illegally exported the hydrogen fluid to North Korea."
According to the report released by the Center for Security and Trade Information (CISTEC), which Rep. Ha Tae-kyung obtained, Japan illegally exported more than 30 times to North Korea between 1996 and 2013.
"If Japan continues to make unreasonable claims, it will be isolated from the international community," Ha criticized.