Biden mixes up president’s name — Analysis

During the first US presidential visit to Southeast Asia, President Obama got confused

US President Joe Biden mixed up the names of the current and former South Korean leaders during a trip to tech giant Samsung’s chip manufacturing plant in Pyeongtaek on Friday. He thanked “President Moon” before correcting himself to “Yoon,” referring to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who replaced Moon Jae-in earlier this month. 

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Biden called the chipmaking plant, which will serve as the model for a $17 billion facility Samsung plans to open in Texas in late 2024, “This is a symbol of future innovation and cooperation that all nations must work together.”  

Yoon concurred, hailing it as “This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the importance of semiconductors in the security and economy.” and praising the “Our partnership for innovative technologies and global supply chain management is the basis of our economic and security alliance.”  

A massive semiconductor shortage has plagued the world’s high-tech industries since the Covid-19 pandemic saw governments shutter factories, leading to dire disruptions in supply chains. With much of the industry’s supply coming out of China, the US and its allies have scrambled to source critical parts from elsewhere, belatedly denouncing their own dependency on Chinese manufacturers as a national security risk.

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Biden’s first presidential trip to Southeast Asia ran into trouble before the president even arrived in Seoul, with one of his security officers reportedly arrested on Thursday and charged with assaulting a South Korean citizen in the capital city a few hours before Biden arrived. According to reports, the individual works at the Department of Homeland Security. The individual has been reported to have been on administrative leave with another Secret Service agent.

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