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Forced labor plaintiffs in South Korea ask court to seize Nippon Steel assets

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Forced labor plaintiffs in South Korea ask court to seize Nippon Steel assets

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.'s assets in South Korea are under threat of seizure after South Korean plaintiffs filed a court application, Reuters reported Jan. 2, citing a local newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

The company holds a 30% stake in the POSCO-Nippon Steel RHF Joint Venture with South Korean steelmaker POSCO.

The move comes after an October 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court in the country, which ordered the Japanese steel producer to pay four South Koreans 100 million South Korean won each to compensate for wartime forced labor.

However, Nippon Steel did not meet lawyers in November 2018 who went to its Tokyo headquarters in a bid to make the company comply with the ruling.

The company maintained the Japanese government's position that the issue was taken care of in a 1965 treaty with South Korea that normalized diplomatic relations.

As of Jan. 1, US$1 was equivalent to 1,113.39 South Korean won.