The South Korean government has emphasized the autonomy of domestic companies as well as national security in regard to the use of Huawei’s 5G mobile network products.
A senior Foreign Ministry official told reporters on Thursday that the government will try to address concerns over 5G components in a way that respects private sector autonomy but does compromise military telecommunications security.
The remark comes as U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris is urging Seoul to join Washington’s boycott of the Chinese tech giant, citing its potential ramification on the South Korea-U.S. alliance’s military security.
Earlier, a ranking South Korean presidential official sought to ease U.S. concerns by stressing that South Korea’s dependence on Huawei products is much lower than Europe and Southeast Asia, and that its defense and security network has been separated from the commercial network.
However, Harris said he disagrees with the view, reiterating working with unreliable 5G providers could have long-term implications for national security.
The Foreign Ministry said it and related ministries are closely discussing the matter and if necessary may consult other countries as well.