South Korean steelmaker to end venture with Myanmar military

Associated Press

Seoul, South Korea — A South Korean steelmaker said Friday it’s ending a joint venture with a military-controlled firm in Myanmar following criticism that its business has benefited military leaders who have violently suppressed pro-democracy protests in the country.

POSCO Coated & Color Steel said it will discontinue its joint venture with Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company. The statement did not specify when and how it will end Myanmar POSCO C&C.

Anti-coup protesters use slingshots and pelt stones towards approaching security forces on March 28, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's military Junta continued a brutal crackdown on a nationwide civil disobedience movement in which thousands of people have turned out in continued defiance of live ammunition. Local media and monitoring organizations estimate that over 400 people have been killed since the coup began, including dozens of children and minors.

POSCO C&C, an affiliate of South Korean steel giant POSCO that manufactures steel sheets, said it is not pulling out from Myanmar entirely, saying that its hopes its steel business will “continue to contribute in improving living environments in Myanmar and facilitate the country’s economy.”

A military junta took over Myanmar from an elected civilian government in a Feb. 1 coup. Security forces have killed at least 700 civilian protesters and bystanders, have detained the former government’s leaders, and have charged doctors, entertainers and others with crimes over their opposition to the coup.