Netherlands stresses commitment to ‘strategic partnership’ with South Korea after semiconductor talks

The Netherlands and South Korea are stepping up cooperation in the field of semiconductor chips as part of a deepening “strategic partnership,” caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Wednesday.

The Dutch leader spoke after a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol during his two-day state visit. Their meeting came a day after Yoon visited the headquarters of semiconductor chip machine maker ASML.

“Our countries are now going to step up our cooperation in this field. This is a promising initiative, and it is also, I believe, a real win-win situation,” Rutte said.

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As part of the visit, South Korean nuclear power company KHNP signed a contract to carry out a feasibility study into the construction of two new nuclear power plants in the southern Dutch town of Borselle. U.S. company Westinghouse and France’s EDF will soon sign similar contracts, the Dutch government announced.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol waves from a car after the Presidential Inauguration outside the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Borselle, near the border with Belgium and the North Sea coast, is home to the Netherlands’ only nuclear power station.

“Nuclear energy helps us on our way to a CO2-free energy system,” Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten said in a statement. “That is why we are preparing for the construction of two new nuclear power stations. The three parties that are eligible for this new construction will carry out technical feasibility studies in the coming year.”

The Netherlands and South Korea also agreed to increase cooperation in digital technologies including artificial intelligence, mobile communications and quantum research, Economic Affairs and Climate Minister Micky Adriaansens said in a statement.

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Yoon’s visit comes less than a month after he also agreed to build stronger trade and defense ties with the United Kingdom.

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