Yoon, Widodo agree to boost cooperation on supply chains of key minerals

SEOUL– President Yoon Suk-yeol and Indonesian President Joko Widodo held a summit in Seoul on Thursday and agreed to work together to stabilize supply chains of key minerals and strengthen cooperation on economic security issues.

Widodo arrived Wednesday for a two-day official visit that included a meeting with businesspeople and a visit to a Hyundai Motor research center.

During his summit with Yoon, the leaders discussed ways to enhance practical cooperation between their countries, including in economic security, infrastructure, defense and the environment, according to the presidential office.

“Today, President Jokowi and I agreed to further strengthen the two countries’ strategic cooperation in step with the changing international state of affairs,” Yoon said, referring to Widodo by his nickname, as he read out a joint statement at a joint press briefing following the summit.

“President Jokowi and I agreed to build a strategic union in advanced industries, such as electric cars and batteries, by strengthening economic security cooperation between the two countries, including through the stabilization of supply chains of key minerals,” he said.

Yoon noted Indonesia is rich in nickel and other minerals that serve as key ingredients for South Korea’s cutting-edge industries.

He also said the two sides agreed to work closely on shared interests within the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

The two leaders agreed to bolster cooperation against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

Widodo said economic cooperation between the two nations will be further strengthened.

Earlier in the day, POSCO and Indonesia’s state-run steelmaker Krakatau agreed to spend US$3.5 billion over the next five years on building a second furnace in Indonesia. Widodo said the project will create about 58,000 jobs.

The summit covered diverse areas, with the two sides revising a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on a project to relocate Indonesia’s capital city.

Yoon said the agreement laid the foundation for South Korean businesses to actively participate in infrastructure, electronic administration and smart city projects in the new capital.

In defense, the two leaders celebrated the successful first test flight of the countries’ jointly developed KF-21 fighter jet and reaffirmed their commitment to closely cooperating until the completion of the jet project.

Indonesia has yet to pay its share of the cost of the project due to what it claims are economic difficulties.

According to Yoon’s office, Widodo proposed Yoon hold consultations to resolve the payment issue during the summit.

With the Indonesian president expressing his willingness to discuss the matter, the two sides are expected to accelerate working-level talks on the issue, the presidential office said.

Indonesia is the only member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to have a special strategic partnership with South Korea, accounting for 41 percent of the bloc’s population and 34 percent of its total gross domestic product.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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