World, Asia - Pacific

Biden begins Asia tour, says will end dependence on those ‘who don’t share our values’

US president, his South Korean counterpart Yoon visit Samsung chip plant ahead of summit-level talks

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 20.05.2022
Biden begins Asia tour, says will end dependence on those ‘who don’t share our values’ US President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One during his arrival at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Friday, May 20, 2022. ( SeongJoon Cho - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL

US President Joe Biden visited a chip factory in South Korea on Friday, saying Washington will end dependence on those “who do not share our values.”

After touring the Samsung Electronics chip plant in Pyeongtaek -- some 43 miles south of the capital Seoul -- with his South Korean counterpart, the US president said it was “wonderful” to be back in South Korea, pointing to the need for “bolstering our supply chain resilience.”

President Yoon Suk-yeol, who was sworn in just ten days ago, said he hoped that with Biden's visit, “the South Korea-US relationship will be born again into an economic security alliance based on cooperation on cutting-edge technology and supply chains.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of 'just in time' supply chains,” said Biden, adding that Russia’s “brutal and unprovoked war on Ukraine has further spotlighted the need to secure our critical supply so that our economy and our national security are not dependent on countries that don’t share our values.”

Biden and Yoon will also hold official summit-level talks.

Working with “our close partners,” said Biden, “who do share our values, like the Republic of Korea” will ensure critical supply chains.

Urging deepening business and people-to-people ties, Biden said the US-South Korea alliance is a “lynchpin of peace, stability and prosperity for region and the world.”

South Korean president, for his part, said: “I ask President Biden to not only provide various incentives to our semiconductor companies for their investment in the US, but to also take a great interest in the investment of advanced American material, equipment and chip design companies in South Korea."

Seoul is a critical partner of Washington in Asia-Pacific where over 28,500 US troops are based since the Korean war broke out on June 25, 1950. The two Koreas technically remain at war with each other as the conflict ended in a truce in 1953 but not a peace treaty.

Japan warned early today that North Korea, which is under severe sanctions by the UN and US over its nuclear program, could launch an inter-continental ballistic missile during Biden’s trip.

Responding to Biden’s Asia tour, Beijing said any regional cooperation framework “should avoid targeting third parties and undermining their interests.”

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