S.Korea, US to hold vice ministerial economic dialogue

South Korea and the US agreed on Wednesday to quickly hold a vice ministerial economic dialogue to check the implementation of the agreement of their leaders’ summit, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said.

The decision was reached in the first video-conference between Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon and Jose W. Fernandez, under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, earlier in the day, Yonhap news agency reported.

The ministry did not provide a specific timeframe of the Senior Economic Dialogue, a consultative channel set up with the state department in 2015 and last held in December last year.

The upcoming dialogue is meant to check the progress in implementing the deals reached at the summit talks between President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden on May 21.

Lee and Fernandez agreed to work together to produce tangible achievements as they shared the view that a key agenda at the summit centered on cooperation on economic security, such as supply chains of semiconductors.

Lee and Fernandez also said they will seek ways on how to set new economic rules of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the ministry said.

The IPEF — launched by Biden during his trip to Japan last month in an apparent move to counter China’s rising clout in the region — seeks to improve supply chain resilience and set rules for the digital economy, clean energy and decarbonization, among other things.

The IPEF comprises India, Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

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