SEOUL, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- South Korea "strongly regrets" its removal from Japan's "white list" of favored trading partners and said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is treating Seoul as an "adversary," an official from the presidential Blue House said Wednesday.
The move, which Japan announced earlier this month, officially took effect on Wednesday.
In a press briefing, Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong called the white list removal "economic retaliation" for South Korean Supreme Court rulings last year that Japanese companies must pay compensation to Korean victims of wartime forced labor.
"The [South Korean] government strongly regrets the latest action taken by Japan," Kim said.
"Prominent figures in Japan are talking as if Korea is an untrustworthy country that does not abide by international law," Kim added. "Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe commented twice that Korea cannot be trusted upon and is treating us like an adversary."
Japan has long argued that all wartime reparations claims were settled by a 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized relations between the two countries, part of which entailed a $300 million grant in economic aid and some $500 million in development loans.
However, South Korea's courts have ruled that the deal did not address the human rights violations that the victims suffered.
The security adviser also defended South Korea's decision to withdraw from a military sharing intelligence pact with Japan, saying that trust between the countries has been "undermined."
Seoul announced last week that it would not renew the General Security of Military Information Agreement, which was signed in 2016.
"Now that basic trust has been undermined between the two countries as Japan is claiming, there is no justification for maintaining GSOMIA," Kim said.
The intelligence agreement is scheduled to expire in November, and Kim added that there was still time to reconsider the issue if Japan removes its trade restrictions, echoing comments made Tuesday by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon.
"Yesterday, Prime Minister Lee mentioned that since there are still three months left until its termination, GSOMIA could be reconsidered if the two sides could reach a solution in the ensuing period and if Japan withdraws the unwarranted measures," Kim said. "Let me point out that the ball is now in Japan's court."
The United States, an ally of both South Korea and Japan, reacted negatively to Seoul's decision to withdraw from GSOMIA, with the State Department and the Pentagon commenting about it last week.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was "disappointed" with the decision, while a Defense Department representative expressed "strong concern."
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus raised the subject again Tuesday, tweeting that the withdrawal would increase risk to U.S. forces stationed in the region.
"We are deeply disappointed and concerned that the ROK's government terminated the General Security of Military Information Agreement," she tweeted. "This will make defending Korea more complicated and increase risk to U.S. forces."