U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell said on July 17 that the U.S. government may intervene in the ongoing economic disputes between South Korea and Japan although it has yet to be found out which one it is going to side with.
Stilwell had a meeting with National Security Office Second Deputy Chief Kim Hyun-chong and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lee Do-hoon in Seoul. “The United States is hoping that South Korea and Japan will find solutions to their sensitive issues and the United States will do what it can do to help them as their close partner and ally,” he remarked at his press conference after the meeting.
He entered South Korea the previous day via Incheon International Airport. At that time, he declined to mention anything about whether the United States would intervene in the disputes between South Korea and Japan. The next day, however, he said that the United States would intervene in every relevant issue as an ally.
It remains to be seen whether the United States will side with South Korea or Japan. On July 12 (local time), U.S. President Donald Trump made positive remarks about Japanese carmakers in the United States and their contribution to the U.S. economy.