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Opinion

Joe Biden to host Japan, South Korea leaders – White House

US President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol for a summit at his retreat outside Washington on August 18, the White House said Friday.

“The leaders will celebrate a new chapter in their trilateral relationship as they reaffirm their strong bonds of friendship and the ironclad alliances between the United States and Japan, and the United States and the Republic of Korea,” an official statement said.

The summit, held at the Camp David presidential retreat in rural Maryland near Washington, DC, will be a chance to “discuss expanding trilateral cooperation across the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” the White House said.

They will address the “continued threat” from North Korea and “advance a shared trilateral vision for addressing global and regional security challenges, promoting a rules-based international order, and bolstering economic prosperity.”

Biden has made a priority of getting close US allies Japan and South Korea to overcome years of tension and work together in the face of nuclear-armed North Korea’s ongoing saber rattling and fear of confrontation with superpower China.

Relations between Pyongyang and Seoul are at one of their lowest points, with diplomacy stalled and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calling for increased weapons development, including tactical nukes.

In response, Yoon has pulled South Korea closer to long-standing ally Washington, and sought to bury the hatchet with former colonial power Japan.

In April, Seoul and Washington said that if Pyongyang ever used its nuclear weapons against the allies, it would face a nuclear reaction and the “end” of its regime.

AFP

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