Asia Minute: South Koreaʻs president mixes business with politics on Washington visit
You may have heard South Korea's president is in Washington this week. He's spending a lot of time with political leaders from President Biden to members of Congress. But he's also making time for some business discussions.
Wednesday night's state dinner at the White House was nice, but South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol wants to nail down some other contacts while he's in the United States this week.
Earlier in the day he spent time with Tesla CEO Elon Musk — inviting him to build a gigafactory in South Korea.
Musk was noncommittal about the idea of establishing an electric vehicle and battery operation in the country, but Yonhap News said he told Yoon that South Korea is a leading candidate — adding that he is planning a visit.
Other companies have been more forthcoming with specifics.
Netflix has announced it will buy $2.5 billion of Korean content over the next four years.
Technology company Corning plans to spend $1.5 billion in South Korea over the next five years.
The delegation of Yoon says half a dozen other companies have pledged to spend nearly $2 billion building factories in South Korea — in areas from semiconductors to plastics recycling.
That message of optimism apparently is not shared by a majority of South Korea's citizens.
Kookmin Research Company says a weekend survey of more than a thousand adults found nearly 55% “donʻt feel hopeful” about Yoonʻs trip to the United States being “helpful” to South Korea.