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Korea, US to set up hotline for semiconductor cooperation

Seoul and Washington have agreed to set up a hotline to discuss cooperation for the stable supply of semiconductors, and raised the level of an existing dialogue channel for industrial cooperation amid a worldwide shortage of chips.

The South Korean government also repeatedly expressed concern over a recent US request for Samsung Electronics as well as other global chipmakers to provide information on their supply chains by Nov. 8, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Tuesday.

Seoul has said this could amount to a disclosure of trade secrets. The Korean chipmakers are reportedly planning to provide information to the extent that does not violate nondisclosure agreements of contracts.

Choi Woo-seok, director general for materials and components industries at the ministry, discussed cooperation on semiconductors with Monica Gorman, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing at the US Department of Commerce, in a video conference Monday, according to the ministry.

“We have fully explained to the US that Korean industries have high concerns over the request for data on semiconductor supply chains, and we plan to closely discuss the issue (with the US),” a ministry official said.

The two countries agreed to set up a director-general-level dialogue channel for regular talks on semiconductor cooperation as part of efforts to deepen their partnership established at the summit between President Moon Jae-in and US President Joe Biden in May.

They also agreed to expand and elevate the level of a regular bilateral industrial dialogue, which began after the Korea-US summit in June 2017.

By Kim So-hyun (
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Korea Herald daum