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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korea's SK mass-produces Japan-grade etching gas

Country steps up effort to build self-sufficient supply chain

Seoul aims to have homemade etching gas meet 70% of domestic demand by 2023.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea's SK Materials has begun mass production of a crucial chipmaking gas at a purity level nearly on par with Japanese-made offerings subject to export restrictions by Tokyo, the company said Wednesday.

A plant in the South Korean city of Yeongju will produce 15 tons of etching gas per year. Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix reportedly will procure the gas for their semiconductor businesses.

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