(LEAD) S. Korea to halt WTO dispute settlement process on Japan's export curbs: industry ministry
(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with WTO complaint issue; ADDS more details in last 4 paras)
SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to halt a process of its complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Japan's export controls of key industry materials to Seoul as they prepare to launch official talks on the lifting of the restrictive measures, Seoul's industry ministry said Monday.
In 2019, Tokyo imposed export controls on three major industrial materials to Seoul, which are essential for chips and displays, and officially removed South Korea from its list of nations given preferential treatment in trade in apparent retaliation for the South Korean Supreme Court's ruling the previous year that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to Korean forced labor victims.
In response to the export controls, South Korea filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the trade dispute, claiming it is a discriminatory act that violates WTO rules.
"The two nations agreed to swiftly conduct bilateral consultations on export control issues to bring the situation back to July 2019. The South Korean government decided to halt the WTO trade dispute settlement procedures while related consultations proceeds," the ministry said in a statement.
The two sides will hold a policy meeting on bilateral exports "soon," it added.
The announcement came just after the South Korean government vowed to create a foundation in charge of collecting public donations and compensating victims of Japan's forced labor during its 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea in an effort to resolve the long-running feud between the two neighbors and to improve frayed ties.
Earlier, Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang said that Seoul and Tokyo have worked to resolve the export restrictions and to boost chances of bilateral industry cooperation.
BLACKPINK star Jisoo tests positive for COVID-19, to miss world tour stop in Osaka
Fifty Fifty chart on Billboard Hot 100 for 10th week with 'Cupid'
(LEAD) N.K. leader estimated to weigh about 140 kg with significant sleep disorders: spy agency
S. Korea succeeds in L-SAM missile interception test for 3rd time
BTS' RM named as honorary ambassador for ministry's war remains excavation agency
(News Focus) Failed N.K. space rocket launch shows both technological challenges, growing space ambitions: analysts
At G-7 summit, Yoon focuses on Japan, global community, Ukraine
Nurses, doctors clash over controversial nursing act
Series of earthquakes off eastern coast raises concerns of bigger tremor
S. Korea, Japan apparently split over nature of Seoul's Fukushima inspection mission