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S. Korea and Japan still deadlocked over trade curb issue; WTO panel review ahead? Updated: 2019-11-20 16:10:03 KST

South Korea and Japan held their second round of bilateral talks in Geneva on Tuesday.
It was their latest attempt to resolve the trade row over Tokyo's ongoing export restrictions.
The meeting between South Korea's chief negotiator Chung Hae-kwan and his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Kuroda was part of a dispute settlement process under the rules of the World Trade Organization.
According to Chung, he will return to Seoul with the outcome of Tuesday's meeting, and come up with the next course of action, but a third round of talks is unlikely.
Watchers say, with the two sides failing to find common ground after two rounds of talks, Seoul is likely to push for the next step in the WTO dispute settlement process.
In September, Seoul filed a complaint to the world trade body, arguing Tokyo's export curbs on three high-tech materials to South Korea are inconsistent with Japan's obligations under various WTO agreements.
If the two countries fail to narrow their differences and can't reach an agreement within 60 days of the complaint, they can request the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to establish an independent review panel to make a final ruling one way or the other.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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