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S.Korea to boost chip cooperation with Netherlands, US, Japan

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Seoul, Dec 10 (IANS) President Yoon Suk Yeol said South Korea plans to "significantly" strengthen semiconductor cooperation with the Netherlands, the United States and Japan, a news report said on Sunday.

The Dutch government has recently joined the U.S.-led effort to curb China's access to advanced chipmaking technology amid intensifying Sino-U.S. competition in the critical industry and other advanced technologies.

The Netherlands is home to ASML, the world's sole producer of extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, critical to making advanced chips. Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, the world's two biggest memory chip makers in South Korea, are among the Dutch tech firm's major clients, reports Yonhap news agency.

South Korea plans "to significantly boost semiconductor cooperation with such major countries as the Netherlands, the United States and Japan going forward," Yoon said in a written interview published by the French news agency AFP on Sunday.

During the trip, Yoon plans to visit the headquarters of top chipmaking equipment manufacturer ASML in Veldhoven, together with Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and SK Chairman Chey Tae-won.

Yoon will be the first foreign leader to be invited inside a cleanroom at the ASML headquarters, according to Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo.

"As competition between countries and regions intensifies to gain hegemony over emerging technologies, the semiconductor industry is strategically more important than ever before, which makes this visit to the Netherlands especially meaningful," Yoon was quoted by AFP as saying.

Yoon highlighted the importance of the chip industry for South Korea and the Netherlands, saying the two countries share a common view that "the economy is now synonymous with security and vice versa."

"Semiconductors are the linchpin of Korea-Netherlands cooperation," Yoon said in the interview. "The global semiconductor industry's stable and sustainable growth is in the core interest of both countries."

Yoon will become the first South Korean president to pay a state visit to the Netherlands since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1961.



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