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U.S., S. Korea agree to continue talks on economic initiative against China

All News 07:18 June 06, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Yonhap) -- Senior U.S. and South Korean officials agreed to continue discussions on the Economic Prosperity Network, the State Department said Friday, referring to a U.S. initiative to shift global supply chains away from China.

In a phone call Thursday evening, Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, spoke with South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho about a range of economic issues, including COVID-19, an upcoming Group of Seven summit that South Korea has been invited to, and the Economic Prosperity Network, the department said in comments sent to Yonhap News Agency.

It described the EPN as "an initiative to unite countries, companies, and civil society groups around the world on a foundation of trust."

Krach has spearheaded the project amid an intensifying U.S.-China rivalry over issues ranging from trade and accountability for the coronavirus to civil liberties in Hong Kong.

The EPN is seen as a campaign to isolate China from global supply chains, posing a possible challenge to South Korea's efforts to maintain good relations with both its ally, Washington, and its largest trading partner, Beijing.

"Both sides agreed to continue consultations on the Economic Prosperity Network and other issues as they prepare for the 5th U.S.-ROK Senior Economic Dialogue, to be held in the second half of the year," the department said, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

This photo shows South Korean Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho (R) posing for a photo with Keith Krach, U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, during the 4th Senior Economic Dialogue at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Nov. 6, 2019. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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