Seoul, US hold talks to expand maritime cooperation

Seoul, Dec 15 (IANS) South Korea and the US held talks in Washington to discuss ways to expand maritime cooperation between the two close trading partners, the Seoul government said on Tuesday.

The ministry of oceans and fisheries said the working level talks focused on the need to expand information on maritime policies, allowing US cargo carriers greater access to South Korean cargo, and guidelines issued by US port state control authorities, the Korea Herald reported.

It also said that the US Maritime Administration provided information on measures being taken to expand the Panama Canal and its impact on traffic, while Seoul raised the issue of delays and other inconveniences being felt by South Korean ships entering US ports.

“The US is South Korea’s second largest trading partner and a leader in setting rules and standards on maritime policies,” said Park Gyeong-cheol, head of the ministry’s maritime logistics bureau.

“Close ties and better flow of information are beneficial to South Korean vessels, and for trade.”

The meeting is the second of its kind, following the first talks held in September 2014.

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