South Korea to file WTO complaint

The trade spat between Japan and South Korea continues to escalate. The South Korean government says it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Japan's export controls.

Seoul says Japan violated international trade rules when it tightened controls on shipments of three types of materials in July.
They are used to make high-tech products, including semiconductors.

South Korea's Minister for Trade, Yoo Myung-hee, said Japan's action is a politically motivated, discriminatory move against her country.
She said it was related to South Korean court rulings on wartime labor.

She added her ministry plans to ask Japan's government to enter into bilateral negotiations on the issue.
That's a requirement for taking the case to the WTO.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government denies violating WTO rules.
Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko said, "It's clear that our measures comply with the WTO.
We will look closely at South Korea's claim and take appropriate steps based on WTO rules."

Japanese officials maintain that the measures were implemented for security reasons.
They say there were cases of improper trade controls involving raw materials exported to South Korea.
The government says the materials for semiconductors could be used for military purposes.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement within 60 days of commencing talks, Seoul can take the case to a WTO panel that arbitrates trade disputes.