Wednesday, August 17

S.Korea says it is discussing ways to strengthen cooperation with US on chips

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SEOUL — South Korea said on Thursday it is discussing with the United States ways to strengthen cooperation on chip-making, according to the presidential office.

“The US emphasized several times the importance of partnership in the chip sector in its supply chain review report in June last year,” a presidential official said.

The presidential office declined to comment when asked whether South Korea would join a US-led chip alliance.

The US government had asked South Korea to inform it by the end of August whether it would participate in a US-led chip alliance, called “Chip 4” to cope with semiconductor supply chain problems, Yonhap said citing unnamed sources in Washington.

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The prospective alliance would involve the United States, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, Yonhap reported.

The United States is committed to working with allies and partners to strengthen the resiliency of their semiconductor supply chains, and appreciate close cooperation with South Korea on supply chain issues, a State Department spokesperson said.

China is South Korea’s biggest trade partner. Out of South Korea’s $69 billion memory chip exports in 2021, exports to China took up 48%, according to Korea International Trade Association data. (Reporting by Joori Roh and Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Soo- hyang Choi and Josh Smith; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Stephen Coates and Chris Reese)