S. Korea, China to hold senior-level economic talks amid urea supply woes

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) — South Korea and China are set to have a virtual senior-level economic meeting Tuesday, in which the two sides are expected to discuss urea supply shortages here and other supply chain issues.

Seoul’s Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon and Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin will have the joint economic committee session via video links on investment, trade and other pending issues, the foreign ministry said.

Among issues likely to be raised is South Korea’s recent supply shortage of urea solution, which is needed in diesel cars to cut emissions, following Beijing’s export curbs on urea to ease domestic supply bottlenecks.

The two sides are also expected to touch on cooperation in cultural content exchanges, as Seoul has been striving to address Beijing’s perceived restrictions on Korean entertainment and cultural industries, which followed Seoul’s 2016 decision to host a U.S. anti-missile system.

It represents an annual economic dialogue between the neighboring countries, but it is drawing keen public attention this year, with South Korea under growing pressure from the Joe Biden administration to join a campaign to rebuild global supply chains less dependent on China.

China is South Korea’s largest trading partner and supplies many of the raw materials needed in chips, batteries and other key export items.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
(END)

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