S. Korea, U.S. discuss cooperation on critical minerals, energy

SEOUL, Vice ministers of South Korea and the United States on Wednesday discussed ways to enhance cooperation on major minerals, carbon-free resources, and other energy and trade issues, Seoul's industry ministry said. The discussions were made during a meeting between Second Vice Industry Minister Choi Nam-ho and Jose Fernandez, the U.S.' under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. "The two sides discussed how to strengthen the bilateral security partnership surrounding major industry minerals and renewable energy resources, among other issues," a ministry official said. South Korea is a member of the U.S.-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), which calls for strengthening the global supply of and promote investment in critical minerals, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. Launched in 2022, the MSP is joined by 13 nations, including South Korea, the U.S., the European Union, Canada and Australia. As for low-carbon energy resources, South Korea in October launched a "Carbon-Free Alliance" in an effort to promote the Carbon-Free Energy initiative, or CFE, proposed by President Yoon Suk Yeol during his keynote speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September. The initiative calls for promoting an active use of nuclear power and green hydrogen as alternative energy resources to better achieve global carbon neutrality goals. Fernandez is in Seoul on the last leg of his three-nation trip to Asia, which began Monday, that included stops to Vietnam and the Philippines. He was scheduled to hold the vice ministerial-level annual meeting of the Senior Economic Dialogue with South Korea's Second Vice Foreign Minister Kang In-sun later in the day, according to Seoul's foreign ministry. Source: Yonhap News Agency