KOREA NEWS Yoon says Korea, Netherlands will form 'semiconductor alliance'

Yoon says Korea, Netherlands will form ‘semiconductor alliance’

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President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee are greeted by Korean residents at Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, during a welcoming ceremony for the presidential couple who arrived for a state visit to the European nation, Tuesday (local time). Behind them are Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol began his state visit to the Netherlands by meeting with a group of Korean residents and vowing to upgrade the two countries’ relations to a “semiconductor alliance.”

As the first official schedule, Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by Willem-Alexander, king of the Netherlands, held at Dam Square in Amsterdam on Tuesday (local time).

Then, they were greeted by the Netherlands’ palace and government officials at the Royal Palace.

Yoon arrived in Amsterdam on Monday on a four-day visit aimed at strengthening cooperation between Korea, a leading chip manufacturer, and the Netherlands, home to chipmaking equipment companies such as ASML.

“Semiconductors are an important area not only for our industries but also for our security,” he said during the dinner meeting with some 100 Korean residents at an Amsterdam hotel. “Through this visit, the semiconductor cooperation between Korea and the Netherlands will be upgraded to a semiconductor alliance.”

Yoon is scheduled to visit the ASML headquarters in Veldhoven on Tuesday, together with Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and SK Chairman Chey Tae-won. The two Korean companies are among the world’s leading chipmakers.

Yoon will become the first foreign leader to tour a “cleanroom” manufacturing facility there, according to his office.

“(The cooperation) between Korea and the Netherlands is expanding its horizons from strategic areas such as national defense and security to economic and cultural exchanges, as well as exchanges in cutting-edge science and technology,” he said. “With the signing of many agreements and MOUs during this visit, the Korea-Netherlands relationship will deepen further.”

Yoon thanked the Korean community in the Netherlands for serving as a bridge between the two nations, noting their number has grown to nearly 10,000.

He also recounted the long history between the two countries, including the influences of two Dutch sailors — Jan Weltevree and Hendrik Hamel — whose vessels drifted to Korea in the 17th century and led them to spend many years in the country.

The Netherlands also sent more than 5,000 troops to fight alongside Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Yoon’s focus on chip cooperation was evident during a meeting with his aides aboard the presidential plane en route to Amsterdam, according to a senior presidential official.

During the two-hour meeting, Yoon spent about half the time discussing semiconductors, the official said. (Yonhap)

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