Foreign minister heads home from Washington
Foreign Minister Park Jin said Korea has a "historic opportunity" to become a key global player as he headed home from a four-day trip to the United States on Thursday.
Park, who met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on his last day in Washington to discuss supply chains and technological cooperation between the two countries, made the remarks at the end of the tour, according to a press release by Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.
The foreign minister described the “global and comprehensive strategic alliance” between Korea and the United States as being “future-oriented,” and said Korea “has a historic opportunity to become a global pivotal state” for trade and critical technologies.
Park said he suggested to Raimondo the creation of a two-plus-two consultation group between the foreign and commerce ministers of South Korea and the United States to cooperate on such issues, and that the U.S. commerce secretary agreed on the need for such a group.
“We said South Korea and the United States need to continue holding ministerial-level dialogue in order to ensure their cooperation as comprehensive, strategic allies in areas such as expanding supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region,” Park said, adding that he suggested continuing ministerial consultations about such concerns.
“In the future, South Korea and the United States should make a lot of effort to improve their technological prowess, competitiveness, and job creation,” the foreign minister said. “We should work together to solve problems related to the supply and demand of key strategic materials and components.”
Park also said the allies should deepen their cooperation in the field of nuclear power, particularly overseas nuclear energy plant projects.
Seoul’s foreign ministry said Park and Raimondo exchanged views on ways to faithfully implement economic and trade security agreements, including cooperation in semiconductor production and supply and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
During his trip, Park met with key officials in the Biden administration including Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, as well as members of Congress and prominent academics to discuss ways to respond to North Korean provocations and strengthen the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
The Foreign Ministry said Thursday it is working to establish a new department to take charge of diplomacy promoting Korean interests and trade in science and technology.
While the ministry already has a team that handles such affairs, Park has raised the need to expand the team into a full-fledged department with a larger workforce and more resources.
Internal preparations are already underway and there will be interagency consultations, according to ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam.
The new department will support diplomats’ efforts to seek foreign cooperation in science, technology and cyberspace.
BY MICHAEL LEE [email@example.com]