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South Korea's finance minister vows to negotiate with GM over fate of plants

Regardless of whether a deal is struck or not, it seems the state-run Korea Development Bank, which holds a 17 percent stake in GM Korea, is going to be heavily criticized.

South Korea's trade minister, Paik Un-gyu, told parliament on Wednesday the government had first asked for an audit into GM's "opaque" operations in the country, which directly employ some 16,000 workers.

Additionally, the official said that the company had requested South Korea to pour funds into GM Korea.

South Korea's trade minister Paik Un-gyu had said on Wednesday that the government has asked for an audit into General Motors "opaque" management in the country in the wake of the vehicle maker's decision to shut down a factory in a city southwest of Seoul.

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"By opaque we mean the high rate of profits to raw material costs interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial support made to GM's headquarters", said Paik.

The restructuring proposal comes after the Detroit automaker announced last week that it would shut its plant in the city of Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, by May and decide the future of the remaining three plants in the country within weeks.

On Tuesday, Barry Engle, head of GM's global operations, met with a task force headed by a ruling party lawmaker from Bupyeong, where GM Korea has its biggest manufacturing plant, to discuss its restructuring plan.

Lim said the union will discuss a full strike and other options at a meeting on Thursday. The company said that it would make "important decisions" related to its next steps.

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He said that there are several preconditions for providing financial support for the automaker, adding GM should present its commitment to improving management in the long-term.

Lim cited the negative public views of South Korea's auto unions.

Securing meaningful production volume of a new vehicle model will be a critical factor in GM Korea Co.'s continuing presence in South Korea, industry sources said Tuesday.

Russian Federation is the world's second-largest LNG exporter, while South Korea is the world's No. 2 LNG importer. Outreach efforts will be made to make clear that South Korea's imports of Chinese steel do not target the U.S. market.

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Seoul's inclusion in the list is frustrating since other close allies of the United States such as Canada, Japan and Germany, were excluded from the extra tariff though they are among the top 10 steel exporters.

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