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Japan-South Korea rift

WTO launches panel on Japan-South Korea chip material feud

Final ruling not expected for years at hamstrung body

The WTO's Appellate Body is currently in limbo, with not enough members to issue final decisions on trade disputes.   © Reuters

GENEVA -- The World Trade Organization formed a panel to rule on Japanese export controls on vital chipmaking materials to South Korea, marking the first step in what could be a yearslong process to resolve the dispute.

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body on Wednesday granted Seoul's request for a dispute settlement panel, which was made at the end of June. The panel as a general rule is supposed to issue its final report within six months, though the process has often taken 12 months or longer in recent years.

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