U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kritenbrink to visit Seoul this week

SEOUL/WASHINGTON– U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink will visit South Korea this week for consultations on a range of regional and bilateral issues, the State Department said.

Kritenbrink will travel together with National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Laura Rosenberger on the three-nation trip from Sunday to Wednesday that also includes stops in China and Japan, the department said in a press release.

“In the Republic of Korea and Japan, they will hold consultations on a range of regional and bilateral issues,” the department said without providing further details. The Republic of Korea is South Korea’s official name.

According to officials in Seoul, Kritenbrink is scheduled to arrive here Monday afternoon and hold talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Young-sam the following day. He is scheduled to fly out of South Korea on Wednesday morning.

North Korea is expected to be a key topic in their discussions in Seoul in the wake of a series of missile launches and other provocations. Also expected to be on the agenda is South Korea’s concerns over the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The IRA, signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden in August, gives up to US$7,500 in tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles (EVs) assembled only in North America, sparking concerns that Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp. could lose ground in the U.S. market, as the two South Korean carmakers assemble their EVs at domestic plants for export to the U.S.

In China, Kritenbrink will follow up on U.S. President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali last month to “continue responsibly managing the competition between our two countries and to explore potential areas of cooperation,” the department said.

He will also prepare for Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s early 2023 visit to China, it said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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