June 16, 2022 11:28
Korea has joined the new Minerals Security Partnership led by the U.S. which aims to secure stable and diversified supplies of vital minerals independently of China.
Government officials attended the launch ceremony in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday.
The other members are Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the U.K. and the EU. China is increasingly weaponizing its monopoly on rare-earth supplies.
The new government of President Yoon Suk-yeol has now joined several of the U.S.' anti-China initiatives, including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and Yoon has been invited to a NATO summit.
Critical minerals used as essential materials for semiconductor chips, secondary batteries and electric vehicles are in high demand but deposits are scarce and unevenly distributed among the power blocs.
China has the upper hand in the global supply chain of rare-earth elements. It triggered a diplomatic and trade conflict recently by restricting the export of some critical minerals on the pretext of a growing domestic demand. The MSP lists seven critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese and graphite as targets for cooperation.
"The members agreed on the need to establish transparent, open, secure and sustainable supply chains of critical minerals," the Foreign Ministry here said.
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