K-Silk Road: South Korea Tapping Central Asian States for Critical Minerals

by | 10. Jun 2024 - 09:20 | Politics

President Yoon Suk Yeol will visit Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan this week.

Following the Africa-Korea Summit last week, South Korea continues to seek more sources of critical minerals. This week, President Yoon Suk Yeol will travel to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan to expand collaboration on raw materials and other key sectors, according to The Korea Times. During the first station, Yoon will meet President Serdar Berdimuhamedow in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, to attend a memorandum signing ceremony. His second station will lead Yoon to Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, for a three-day visit, attending a summit with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. For the final station, Yoon will travel to Uzbekistan to meet President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and attend a summit with business representatives in Tashkent.

K-Silk Road – Linking Korea’s High-Tech Industry With Central Asia’s Resources

During the week-long trip, Yeol is expected to announce the “K-Silk Road” regional strategy that seeks to connect South Korea’s high-tech industry with the vast resources of Central Asia. The East Asian country is home to some of the biggest players in the semiconductor and automotive industries but lacks the necessary critical minerals within its borders. South Korea is largely dependent on the raw materials giant China but is looking to diversify its supply chains.

Following the state visits, South Korea plans to establish a summit with all five Central Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, similar to the Africa-Korea summit last week. The inaugural meeting is set for next year.

Photo: iStock/Kinsei-TGS

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