Dec. 7 (UPI) -- South Korea's gaming experts say Seoul needs to be more assertive when dealing with China's trade embargoes.
The Korea Game Society said Monday Seoul should address issues with China that have hurt South Korea's multibillion-dollar gaming industry, News 1 reported. China approved the first sale of a Korean video game last week, according to the Financial Times.
China's decision comes after prohibiting the sales of all South Korean video games in March 2017 as part of measures against Seoul.
The policy went into effect after South Korea agreed to deploy a U.S. missile defense system on the peninsula. China claimed at the time the THAAD battery could track Chinese military movements in areas near Korea.
Chinese authorities issued a license for Summoners War, a game from South Korea's Com2Us. The move came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul.
The Korea Game Society said in its statement the "joint efforts" of South Korea's public and private sectors deserve credit for the development, but the reality of video game licensing in China for South Korean companies is "still grim."
"From an objective standpoint, the restrictions on licensing [for South Korean firms] have not been removed," KGS said in statement.
The group also said China is only issuing video game licenses at a fraction, or one-tenth, of pre-embargo levels and that the latest decision is political. The election of Joe Biden has Beijing worried about a renewed trilateral alliance among the United States, Japan and South Korea, KGS said.
South Korean lawmaker Kim Seung-soo said in a separate statement Monday that South Korean firms have incurred losses from intellectual property theft that take place when the source code of video games are leaked illegally while China delays the issuing of licenses.
Summoners War is a multiplayer online game that has earned $1.35 billion for Com2Us. Shares of Com2Us and South Korean firm Netmarble rose last week after China's decision, according to the Financial Times.