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US President Biden and Korean President Moon Jae-in to meet


US President Biden and Korean President Moon Jae-in to meet

Jung Yeon Je AFP
Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

US President Biden will meet his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in today.

The Republic of Korea alliance with the US has recently taken on greater significance in security. Key to the partnership is the long-term stability of the Korean Peninsula, combatting China’s rise and leveraging new technological forms of cooperation, especially in the semiconductors industry.

Expect today’s meetings to cover North-South Korean relations, COVID-19 vaccine development and technological infrastructure cooperation. As Washington is currently reviewing its North Korea policy, expect Pyongyang’s nuclear program to take precedence today. While Seoul will likely push for a resumption of US-North Korea talks, Washington might pursue denuclearization as a long-term process and at the same time pursue near-term measures to limit the North’s nuclear and missile capabilities. This might be met with corresponding incentives, including sanctions relief.

In the medium-term, North Korea will likely pursue provocative actions, like the firing of two ballistic missiles a few months ago. However, as the economic situation is having dire effects on the DPRK economy and intensifies Pyongyang’s international isolation, it could provide an opportunity to bring Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table and set an agenda to improve security concerns in the Korean Peninsula.

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