Top diplomats of U.S. and ROK hold phone talks over Japan and DPRK

The top diplomats of the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK) held phone talks to discuss the recent trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo as well as the DRPK's denuclearization, Yonhap reported.

During the 15-minute conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday night, ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha voiced concerns over Japan's export control measure against Seoul.

At the root of the diplomatic row between the two U.S. allies is compensation demanded by Seoul for South Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during World War II.

It worsened last week when Japan said it would tighten curbs on exports of three materials crucial for advanced consumer electronics because trust with South Korea had been broken over the forced labor dispute.

Kang said the situation is undesirable in terms of the friendly cooperative relationship between the ROK and Japan and of trilateral cooperation among the ROK, the U.S. and Japan, the Foreign Ministry said in statement.  

She added Seoul hopes to explore a diplomatic solution to the issue through dialogue with Tokyo.

Separately, the two diplomats also agreed to continue close communication to achieve the shared goal of the complete denuclearization and a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. State Department said the two "reaffirmed their commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, the importance of U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral cooperation." 

(With input from agencies)