Port Security Conference

June 12, 2003

South Korea plans WTO counter suit
South Korea is set to file a counter suit with the World Trade Organization in response to the EU request that the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body set up a panel to investigate alleged shipbuilding subsidies offered by the Korean government.

"The government will instantly begin necessary preparations to file a counter suit against the EU. It is a convention that when a country files a complaint to the WTO for trade dispute settlement with another nation, the defendant customarily files a counter suit," said Hong Kee-doo, director general in charge of the capital goods industries bureau of South Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.

"It will be the same for the shipbuilding row between Korea and the EU because the EU's resumption of shipbuilding subsidies apparently violates WTO rules," he said.

According to Hong, the government has not yet decided when to file a counter suit against the EU but it will probably coincide with the installation of a panel by the WTO as requested by the European Commission.

"We will exert all-out efforts to defend Korea's position and verify the legitimacy of what the EU alleges is a government subsidy in the WTO's dispute settlement procedure before we file a counter suit because filing a counter suit is the worst scenario and Korea wants to avoid it," said Jung Hae-won of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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