North Korea casts menacing shadow over Biden’s talks with new South Korean president

Written by on May 21, 2022

South Korea’s menacing neighbor to the north will solid a shadow over President Joe Biden’s second day in Asia.

After honoring troopers who died in the course of the Korean Warfare, Biden had an prolonged dialogue with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

“Our alliances between our international locations is constructed upon shared sacrifice,” Biden instructed Yoon in short public remarks in between conferences. “Right this moment with this go to we’re taking the cooperation between our two international locations to new heights.”

Yoon took workplace lower than two weeks in the past after a intently contested March election during which he vowed to bolster South Korea’s defenses towards North Korea.

Strengthening the U.S. dedication to “prolonged deterrence” is the primary concern Yoon needs to debate with Biden, an adviser to the not too long ago elected president instructed reporters earlier than the journey.

Their summit, the earliest an American president has visited South Korea after an election, can be a chance for Biden and Yoon to develop a private relationship. That may assist Yoon meet one other marketing campaign promise of deepening the alliance between the 2 international locations and help Biden’s purpose of constructing a coalition within the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s rising affect. 

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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (L) and US President Joe Biden hold a meeting at the People's House in Seoul on May 21, 2022.

Utilizing U.S. navy may, notably its nuclear forces, to guard South Korea has been a major pillar of the safety alliance between the 2 nations because the finish of the Korean Warfare.

The dedication has develop into extra vital due to North Korea’s progressing missile and nuclear program.

North Korea has test-launched a number of missiles in latest months, together with nuclear-capable missiles probably in a position to attain South Korea, Japan or the U.S.

Since Biden took workplace, the administration hasn’t been in a position to open the strains of communication with North Korean chief Kim Jong Un.

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, greets U.S. President Joe Biden prior to their summit meeting at the People's House Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea.

North Korea might conduct a missile or nuclear check throughout Biden’s five-day journey to Asia, in response to U.S. intelligence assessments.

“North Korea has a protracted historical past – going again many years, at this level – of missile exams, each to advance their capabilities and to trigger provocations,” nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan instructed reporters as Biden launched into his five-day trip to Asia on Thursday. “We all know what we are going to do to answer that.” 

Practically 29,00zero U.S. troops are deployed within the Korean peninsula. Former President Donald Trump proposed the “full withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea,” according to former defense secretary Mark Esper. Trump wished the troops gone until South Korea elevated its share of the associated fee, former nationwide safety adviser John Bolton wrote in his 2020 memoir.

Since 1991, the U.S. has had solely typical weapons at its navy installations in South Korea. However it maintains the specter of an in-kind retaliation towards North Korea via its “nuclear umbrella.”

President Joe Biden participates in a wreath laying ceremony in honor of those who died in the Korean War at the National Cemetery in Seoul on May 21, 2022.

At Seoul Nationwide Cemetery on Saturday, Biden participated in a wreath laying ceremony to pay his respects to fallen troopers, a lot of whom died preventing alongside U.S. forces within the Korean Warfare. On the altar of the Memorial Tower, which enshrines tablets documenting troopers who died in the course of the warfare however whose our bodies had been by no means discovered, Biden sprinkled three pinches of ash from incense into an urn on a pink carpet.

When Yoon’s predecessor, Moon Jae-in, visited Washington, D.C., final 12 months, he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

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