Korea and Japan Face off at WTO

  • By Choi Hyun-mook, Shon Jin-seok

    July 24, 2019 12:45

    Korea clashed with Japan over new export restrictions on key high-tech materials to Korea at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.

    The two-day meeting will see both countries present their cases, with Korea insisting that Japan's curbs on exports of three core materials used to manufacture computer chips and smartphones goes against WTO rules.

    Korea is focusing on a clause forbidding prejudiced policies targeting a specific country and imposing limits on export volume. Seoul also says it would be "unjust and groundless" to strike Korea from Japan's "whitelist" of preferential trade partners without giving concrete examples where the current trade controls were inadequate.

    The removal from the whitelist is scheduled for later this week and will affect over 800 other goods and materials that are vital to Korean manufacturers.

    Tokyo denies prejudice and claims to be taking precautionary measures to ensure that key materials that could be diverted to making weapons. But Seoul believes the export curbs are plain economic retaliation in a diplomatic spat over compensation for wartime forced laborers.

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