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S. Korea, US join hands to bolster multilateralism

South Korea and the United States on Friday agreed to join forces in reinforcing multilateralism and resolving other pending global trade issues.

Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo held a virtual meeting with his US counterpart, Katherine Tai, to discuss ways to cope with the changing global trade environment, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

During the meeting, the two officials vowed to make efforts to restore the multilateral trade regime by normalizing the function of the Geneva-based WTO, which has been disturbed by the growing protectionism around the globe.

The dispute-settlement role of the WTO has been suspended since December 2019 as the previous US Donald Trump administration declined to name new members to the appellate body.

The two officials also agreed to work closely on climate change and digital trade.

South Korea and the US plan to hold a face-to-face trade meeting in the near future, according to the ministry.

It was Yeo's first meeting with a top US trade official since he took office this week. (Yonhap)