FACT SHEET: United States – Republic of Korea Partnership

The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) pledge to strengthen our alliance and to broaden its focus to address issues of critical importance to the Indo-Pacific region and the world. We will deepen our cooperation on advanced technologies, increase global vaccinations and protect the world from future pandemics, combat the climate crisis, and enhance economic cooperation and our people-to-people ties. Through these concrete initiatives, the United States and the Republic of Korea will demonstrate that our alliance is prepared to lead the region towards a prosperous, secure, dynamic, and bright future.

Technology and Innovation

As global leaders in technology and innovation, the United States and the ROK are committed to fostering strong and resilient supply chains, deepening our cooperation across space and new digital frontiers, and safeguarding a trusted, values-driven digital and technological ecosystem, in line with our shared democratic values. As we work together to foster post-pandemic recovery and build back a stronger more resilient global economy, we seek to leverage the collective strengths of our two countries – our open and competitive market systems, our shared democratic values and commitments to human rights, our mutual commitment to intellectual property protection and scientific and research integrity, and the shared spirit of innovation that animates our scientific and business communities  – to address the critical challenges of the 21st century to the benefit of our citizens and the global community.

The United States and the Republic of Korea welcome:

  • The announcements of significant investments in the United States and the Republic of Korea by our leading companies. These investments, totaling more than $25 billion, reflect the longstanding close economic ties between the United States and the ROK.

Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will:

  • Facilitate mutual and complementary investments in semiconductors, including for advanced and auto-grade chips, and high-capacity batteries and commit to mutual and complementary investments across the entire supply chain of materials, parts, and equipment to expand the production capacity of these key products.
  • Encourage joint R&D on critical and emerging technologies through programs nurturing AI, next-generation mobile network (6G), data, quantum technology, and biotechnology. Regarding quantum technology in particular, we welcome joint research and expert exchanges in quantum computing, communications, and sensing.
  • Recognize the importance of secure 5G and 6G networks, commit to supporting diverse and resilient supply chains, including innovative network architectures such as open-RAN technology, and commit to work together on open-RAN technology development and standardization issues. 
  • Strengthen competitiveness in advanced information communications technologies, including 5G and next-generation mobile networks (“6G” or “Beyond 5G”), by encouraging investments in research, development, testing, and deployment of secure networks. The United States has committed $2.5 billion to this effort, and the ROK has committed $1 billion.
  • Explore the creation of a U.S.-ROK Supply Chain Task Force between the U.S. White House and the ROK Office of the President, to implement and review bilateral cooperation in the high-tech manufacturing and supply chains.
  • Establish a bilateral investment screening cooperation working group, led by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and State and their ROK counterparts at the technical level, to collaborate on ways to safeguard investments and strengthen investment screening mechanism. 
  • Expand cooperation on space exploration facilitated by the Republic of Korea’s decision to sign the Artemis Accords, joining nine other nations focused on returning to the moon by 2024 and ultimately expand and deepen space exploration.
  • Support for the ROK’s development of its own satellite navigation system, the Korean Positioning System, and enhance its compatibility and interoperability with the Global Positioning System.

Deepening Cooperation on COVID-19 Response, Global Health, and Health Security

The United States and the Republic of Korea recognize the suffering that COVID-19 has caused around the world and share a commitment to multilateral cooperation to end the pandemic and address future global health threats.  We pledge to expand coordination under the Global Health Security Agenda and to bolster pandemic prevention and response. We are also committed to partnering with each other, and with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and COVAX, to expand vaccine production and related supplies and manufacturing innovations to meet this pressing global need. Through active leadership, the U.S. and the ROK will implement measures to improve our collective global health security, bolster COVID-19 response efforts, and build capacity to prevent the next pandemic.

Together, the United States and the Republic of Korea will:

  • Support the Global Health Security Agenda, as steering group members, to improve global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. To facilitate this the ROK has committed $200 million in new funding over five years to help address future health threats.
  • To prepare for and mitigate the damage of the next biological threat, the United States and the ROK will work together in a new partnership with other likeminded partners to establish a multilateral, sustainable and catalytic health security financing mechanism this year and an associated governance structure.
  • Work together to renew its bilateral health memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare to ensure continued close cooperation on pandemic response and future global health issues.
  • Establish a comprehensive KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership to strengthen joint response capabilities for infectious disease through international vaccine cooperation.  Based on the partnership, we will actively cooperate on greatly scaling up global COVID-19 vaccine supply, including through COVAX and in coordination with CEPI, to countries around the world. Drawing on each of our strengths, we will undertake the following work:
  • The United States and Korea will work collaboratively to expand manufacturing capacity for vaccines and related raw materials and promote science and technology cooperation for global benefit;  
  • The United States and Korea will work to expand the production of vaccines that have been demonstrated safe and effective, as assessed by Stringent Regulatory Authorities and/or the World Health Organization;
  • Korea will provide expanded production capacity at manufacturing facilities in Korea to meet increasing demand of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner;  
  • The United States will discuss production constraints and launch expert cooperation aimed at global expansion of the raw materials and other components needed to make vaccines.
  • The United States and Korea will foster R&D and scientific collaboration with a focus on global health security and pandemic preparedness. Korea and the United States each have gold standard biomedical research institutions in the area of infectious diseases and globally will promote the importance of voluntary technology transfer for vaccine production. By fostering collaborative work on COVID-19 and research to combat epidemics and pandemics of the future, we can jointly realize a world that prevents future outbreaks from becoming epidemics.
  • Launch a senior-level KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership Experts Group to implement the partnership to expand global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, comprised of scientists, experts and officials from our governments.

Advancing Shared Goals on Climate and Clean Energy

The United States and the Republic of Korea will work together on…

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