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S. Korea, U.S. launch expert group on vaccine partnership under summit accord

Diplomacy 08:00 June 10, 2021

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have established a senior-level expert group to follow up on their summit deal on their "vaccine partnership," Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.

The inaugural session of the task force was held via video link the previous night with government officials of the two sides in attendance, it said in a press release.

They included a dozen representatives from the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (DFC), as well as 13 South Korean officials from Cheong Wa Dae and other government offices. Among the participating White House officials were ranking members of the National Security Council.

The two sides mainly discussed vaccine production, expansion of raw materials, research and development, and cooperation in training human resources, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They also had consultations on plans for the future activities of the expert group, as they agreed to hold such a joint meeting on a regular basis, it added.

The presidents of South Korea and the United States -- Moon Jae-in (L) and Joe Biden -- hold a joint press conference after their White House summit talks on May 21, 2021, in the file photo. (Yonhap)

During their White House summit talks in late May, President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart Joe Biden agreed to establish a "comprehensive KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership."

It is intended to "strengthen joint response capabilities for infectious disease through international vaccine cooperation, including focus areas on global expansion of production and related materials, as well as scientific and technological cooperation," according to their joint statement.

The leaders agreed to launch a senior-level expert group, called the KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership Experts Group.

They described South Korea and the U.S. as "critical allies in the COVID-19 pandemic."


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