US President Joe Biden will begin his three-day trip to South Korea today.
Biden will meet with President Yoon Suk-yeol during a bilateral summit on Saturday in his first visit to Asia since becoming President. Both leaders committed to taking a harder stance on North Korea following its recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in March and other subsequent missile tests.
Officials suspect North Korea may conduct another IBCM test upon Biden’s visit. Policy coordination on North Korea will take top priority at the meeting, with discussions on the deployment of additional US nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers and long-range bombers to the region. Additional talks are expected on economic security as part of efforts to strengthen the US-South Korean alliance.
Sunday, Biden will travel to Japan to attend the QUAD summit in Tokyo—where he is expected to spearhead calls for a united Indo-Pacific to check Chinese regional influence. The US intends to work with Japan, India and Australia towards a free and open Indo-Pacific, promoting regional economic security through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). Although South Korea is not part of QUAD, the US envisions its involvement in IPEF as one of Asia’s major economies to significantly aid regional security.
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Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.