"There is great potential for cooperation between the two countries. First, Russia has hydrogen fluoride; therefore, to stabilize the supply of such resources to Korea, we can cooperate with Russia. Secondly, in order to develop the country‘s field of components, equipment and materials, we can also cooperate with Russia, which has first-class source technologies", Hong, who also serves as Minister of Economy and Finance and is leading his country's delegation at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, said on the sidelines of the event.
The minister said that Japan’s current export restrictions were "trade revenge for a Korean court ruling on compensation for forced labour".
"These measures were carried out without justification, and these measures are unilateral and discriminatory and clearly violate the provisions of international trade, including the WTO treaty", Hong said.
He added that the South Korean government was in the process of developing multilateral plans to ensure the stabilisation of imports of certain affected industries, in particular materials, equipment and components.
On 1 July, Japan announced it would be imposing restrictions on exports of certain chemical materials to South Korea that are vital to manufacturers of semiconductors and displays. It also removed Seoul from its white list of preferred trading partners.
These decisions are widely seen as a tit-for-tat response to a 2018 decision of the Supreme Court of South Korea that ordered Japanese companies to pay reparations to former Korean workers who were forced into labour during World War II by Japan, a colonial power at the time.