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Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook noodles until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add half of the sauce (about 3 tablespoons) and toss to evenly coat.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons safflower oil over medium. Add onion and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and half the remaining sauce (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the noodles.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon safflower oil and the bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add snap peas and asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach to the skillet and stir until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture into the bowl with the noodles. Add the remaining sauce and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide japchae among bowls and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.