Vice FM holds talks in U.S. about vaccines, supply chain, climate change

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) — Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon held a series of talks with senior U.S. officials this week about cooperation in vaccines, supply chains of key parts, climate change and other areas, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Choi’s four-day trip to Washington that began Monday came after South Korea and the U.S. agreed to deepen economic partnership at the May 21 summit between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Joe Biden.

Such a partnership includes expanding vaccine production capacity against the COVID-19 pandemic, securing a trusted digital and technological ecosystem centering on semiconductors and battery components, and achieving carbon emission goals.

During the visit, Choi met with Daleep Singh, the White House deputy national security adviser, and discussed ways to strengthen policy coordination in the supply chain of chips and high-capacity batteries sectors, the foreign ministry said in a release.

They also discussed efforts to boost international contribution through the Korea-U.S. vaccine partnership, the ministry said.

Choi then met with Marcia Bernicat, U.S. acting under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, for talks about efforts to promote global health security and climate change initiatives.

In the meeting with Samantha Power, chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the two discussed climate change, treatment of maritime waste, digital and cyber security, and related projects under discussion with South Korea’s state aid agency, KOICA.

Choi also met Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), chair of the House Science Committee, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and separately with Novavax CEO Stanley Erck, according to the ministry.

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