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S. Korean ministers join U.S.-hosted virtual meeting on supply chains

All News 23:10 July 20, 2022

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- The foreign and trade ministers of South Korea participated in a high-level forum on the global supply chain issue Wednesday, their ministries said, with concerns growing over a Washington-Beijing trade war.

The two-day Supply Chain Ministerial Forum opened Tuesday (Washington time), co-hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Seoul's top diplomat, Park Jin, and its top trade official, Ahn Duk-geun, joined the session via video links, along with their counterparts from 18 other countries. China was not on the list of participating nations.

The meeting was held as part of "ongoing work with key partner nations on supply chains," as it is intended to follow up on the U.S.-hosted Supply Chain Summit that took place in Rome in October last year on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit. Participants discussed ways for solutions to reduce both short-term bottlenecks and longer-term supply chain challenges.

The Joe Biden administration has been campaigning to diversify supply chains away from China in a thinly veiled bid to counter Beijing's growing influence and assertiveness.

In the session, Park briefed other participants on Seoul's efforts for supply chain resilience, including the establishment of an "early warning system" centered on its diplomatic missions abroad, his office said.

Ahn stressed the need for the international community to cooperate in trying to address the problem and reaffirmed South Korea's commitment to proactive cooperation through various multilateral consultative channels, his ministry said.

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