S. Korean gov't bolsters supply crunch early warning system abroad

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government has further beefed up its early warning monitoring system on thousands of core industrial items in a bid to prevent the recurrence of a problem like the abrupt supply crunch of urea solution late last year, according to the country’s foreign ministry Sunday.

The ministry said such a strengthened “economic security” system has been established at 37 embassies and other diplomatic missions abroad to monitor the supply conditions of more than 4,000 items.

In November last year, it set up the system at 23 diplomatic missions in foreign nations.

It also plans to launch an in-house center for “economic security diplomacy” in March, with procedures to hire relevant manpower under way.

South Korea suffered an acute shortage of urea solution, a key fluid needed in diesel vehicles to cut emissions, in 2021 after China suddenly imposed export restrictions on the product.

Concerns about economic security, especially global supply chains, have grown as well amid a trade spat between the United States and China.