SEOUL-- South Korea's government is using unlicensed software requiring policymakers to pay more attention to intellectual property rights, a local association citing a report by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said Wednesday.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said Washington has expressed concerns about unauthorized software use in its 2017 Special 301 review and the need for Seoul to set an example to be followed by the private sector.

The USTR, citing data from the Software Alliance, claimed the global market for unlicensed software stood at US$25 billion as of 2015.

According to KITA, the U.S. agency said besides South Korea, other countries, including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Ukraine, need to do more in regards to using licensed software.

It called for more transparency and follow-up measures to ensure fair use of software.

Despite the country being cited by the USTR in the latest report, the local trade promotion body said South Korea was not placed on either the priority watch list or the "regular" watch list. Countries on the list are scrutinized by Washington for violations.

Seoul had been on the watch list up till 2008 before being removed in the following year.

There are currently 11 countries, including China, on the priority list, with 23 more on the watch list.

Source: Yonhap News Agency