Va. Gov. Youngkin meets with South Korean PM over mutual interests during final stop in Asia

Virginia has a lot of attractive attributes that could be especially appealing to South Korea.

Published: April 30, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin met with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck Soo during his final stop on an Asian tour to promote economic, education and trade relations.

Youngkin and the prime minister met Friday in Seoul to expand on bilateral trade relation opportunities between the commonwealth and South Korea. Youngkin also highlighted the education partnership between the commonwealth and South Korea and how he hopes it will lead to more business opportunities.

“The continued friendship between Virginia and South Korea is critical,” said Youngkin. “With Virginia’s excellent educational institutions, developing workforce programs, growing business ready sites and increasingly competitive tax profile, Virginia looks forward to growing as a prime business partner for South Korea.”

Virginia has a lot of attractive attributes that could be especially appealing to South Korea. The commonwealth has much to offer South Korea, such as defense and aerospace, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, technology, education and expanding port access to accommodate an increase in larger tanker traffic.

Virginia, specifically Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, is home to one of the largest concentrations of Koreans in the country. According to the U.S. Census, Virginia is home to over 66,000 Koreans, the sixth largest in the nation. George Mason University has a campus in Songdo, South Korea, which offers students the unique opportunity to study for three years at the Songdo campus, followed by one year at the Fairfax campus.

In addition to the cultural and educational connection between the commonwealth and South Korea, several Korean companies are based in Virginia. Those include Samsung, Hanwha, Korea Aerospace Industries, and Navien among others.

The prime minister told South Korean press he underscored "the need for more cooperation in space exploration and technology, citing Virginia's reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East Coast.’"

Youngkin seemed to echo the prime minister’s message.

“We discussed our shared values, our thriving partnership between South Korea and Virginia, our commitment to deliver the best products, innovative thinking and breakthrough technology,” Youngkin tweeted.

Virginia and South Korea share another connection, as South Korea and the commonwealth are home to several U.S. military bases. During the State Visit of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, President Joe Biden announced plans to dock U.S. nuclear submarines in South Korea, which marks the first time in 40 years.

Amid ongoing tensions and threats from North Korea, it is not surprising that South Korea would look to the U.S. to expand its military presence in the region and its economic footprint.

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