India, the United States of America, along the Republic Of Korea (South Korea) will launch an informal trilateral dialogue in early 2024, the White House announced on December 9, 2023. The decision was taken at the inaugural US South Korea Next Generation Critical and Emerging Technologies Dialogue held in Seoul on December 9, 2023.
The meeting in Seoul was chaired by US national security advisor Jake Sullivan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) national security advisor Cho Tae-Yong.
The USA and South Korea have also agreed to deepen collaboration on international governance frameworks for AI by promoting mutually reinforcing international initiatives. South Korea also noted its contributions to promoting international discussions on AI norms, including through its Digital Bill of Rights.
This will be a part of Next Generation Critical and Emerging Technologies Dialogue (CET) which is a framework for cooperation between Washington and Seoul on various domains of innovation. This has been done by keeping in mind China’s rapid progress in critical technologies in the Indo-Pacific
White House Readout
The US and South Korea aim to “hold a National Security Council and National Security Office-led consultations with like-minded partners on critical and emerging technologies, including through launching informal trilateral dialogue with India in the first quarter of 2024,” read the White House Statement.
Sullivan and Cho underscored their intent to anchor the initiative in strategic technologies that will be of greatest consequence to bolstering economic prosperity, enhancing resilience against supply chain disruptions, and securing a competitive advantage for our two nations and like-minded partners.
At the Outset the Next Generation Dialogue will drive cooperation in six main strategic areas semiconductor supply chains and technology, biotechnology, batteries and clean energy technology, quantum science and technology, digital connectivity, and artificial intelligence, according to a White House readout according to the White House readout
“The National Security Advisors also highlighted the crucial importance of aligning and adapting our technology protection toolkits, including the recently announced Disruptive Technologies Protection Network and the investment screening mechanisms as an important effort to prevent the leakage of sensitive and dual-use technologies, said the readout.
Reducing Dependence on China
Emerging technologies and critical minerals are vital for India’s economic development and national security and are among the key areas of collaboration between New Delhi and Washington. India joined the US-led Mineral Security Partnership in June, along with Australia, South Korea, France, and other nations to secure the supply of chains of these minerals. This is significant for India given its ambition to develop the electric vehicle (EV) industry and reduce its reliance on China for critical minerals.
Similar Partnership by QUAD
It may be recalled that the QUAD group has a similar partnership in the field of critical technologies and the India-US-South Korea trilateral could complement the QUAD initiative. At the QUAD Leaders’ Summit on September 24, 2021, the QUAD countries comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the USA launched the QUAD Principles on Technology, Design, Development, Governance and Use.
Last week, India and the US held a review meeting of the India-US-Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) at the level of deputy National Security Advisers and agreed to broaden the scope of emerging technologies to biotechnology, critical minerals along with rare earth processing technologies, digital connectivity and digital public infrastructure and advanced materials.