May 18, 2022 09:22
Korea is set to join the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a strategic initiative aimed at countering China's growing influence in the region.
President Yoon Suk-yeol will announce the decision when he meets U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul on Saturday. After visiting Korea, Biden flies to Japan for the first summit to launch the IPEF, where Yoon will take part via Zoom.
Yoon said in a speech to the National Assembly on Monday, "I will discuss with President Biden ways to strengthen cooperation in global supply chains by joining the IPEF."
A diplomatic source said, "Korea recently decided to join IPEF as a founding member to secure an advantageous position in global supply chains and digital trade."
Australia, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines are expected to join the IPEF to reduce their dependence on China in global supply chains, digital economy and renewable energy.
"Among ASEAN members, Malaysia is leaning toward joining, and Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are also considering taking part," the source said.
But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against the idea in a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Park Jin on Monday, saying the two countries should "oppose decoupling."
A government official here said, "Korea's participation in IPEF is a decision based on national interests and not intended to isolate China."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com