Biden, South Korea to coordinate the response to North Korea’s nuclear threat

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President Joe Biden is devoting its Saturday to consolidating ties with South Korea and its new leader Yoon Suk Yeol as the two sides consult on how best to control the nuclear threat from North Korea at a time when there is little hope of a real diplomacy on the subject.

The division of the Korean Peninsula after World War II resulted in two radically different nations. In South Korea, Biden is visiting next-generation automobile and computer chip factories in a democracy and engaging in talks for greater cooperation. But in the north, there is a deadly coronavirus outbreak in a largely unvaccinated autocracy that can best attract the world’s attention by flexing its nuclear capabilities.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden traveled to South Korea, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the United States has coordinated with Seoul and Tokyo on how they will do it. answer if the North were to conduct a nuclear test or missile strike while Biden is in the region or shortly thereafter. Sullivan also spoke to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi earlier in the week and urged Beijing to use his influence to persuade the North to cease testing.

“China should consider taking all possible measures to reduce the possibility of a provocative act,” Sullivan said.

CHINA LAUNCHES MILITARY EXERCISES IN THE SOUTH SEA OF CHINA WITH BIDEN VISITING ASIA

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, greets US President Joe Biden ahead of their summit at the People's House on Saturday May 21, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Song Kyung Seok / Pool photo via AP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, greets US President Joe Biden ahead of their summit at the People’s House on Saturday May 21, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Song Kyung Seok / Pool photo via AP)

As part of a five day visit to Asia, Biden is focusing his Saturday on his relationship with Yoon, who took office just over a week ago. One mission will be to reassure South Korea about the US commitment to counter North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

There is concern in Seoul that Washington is reverting to the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” of ignoring North Korea until it is serious about denuclearization, an approach that has been criticized for neglecting the North. as it made huge strides in building its nuclear arsenal.

Prospects for true nuclear diplomacy are slim as North Korea ignored offers of assistance from South Korea and the United States with its COVID-19 outbreak, mitigating hopes that such cooperation could help ease nuclear tensions. or even lead to interviews. However, Biden and Yoon are expected to discuss ways to work with the international community to reach the north much needed vaccines and tests, according to senior Biden administration officials who briefed reporters.

The US president opened on Saturday by laying a wreath at Seoul National Cemetery, wearing white gloves and a grim expression while also burning incense and then signing a guest book. Biden then greeted Yoon at the People’s House for a private meeting. The couple will then hold a joint press conference and attend a leaders dinner at the National Museum of Korea.

One of the targets will certainly be a threatening but economically fragile North. However, both leaders are also keen to underline their growing business relationship as two supporters of the Korean industry – Samsung and Hyundai – are opening major factories in the United States.

BIDEN TOUTS VISITS SOUTH KOREA TRADE UNIONS

President Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol deliver comments as they visit the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek campus on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Photo AP / Evan Vucci)
(Photo AP / Evan Vucci)

Biden faces growing disapproval in the US for inflation nearing its 40-year high, but his administration sees a clear economic win in competition with China. Bloomberg Economics Analysis estimates that the US economy will grow faster this year than China for the first time since 1976, a prediction White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attributed to Biden’s spending on aid and infrastructure for the coronavirus that has led to faster growth in employment.

The national security event that is galvanizing wider discussions between the two countries was the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war that led to an unprecedented string of sanctions by the United States and its allies.

South Korea joined the United States in imposing export controls against Russia and blocking Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. Its participation was instrumental in stopping Russia’s access to computer chips and ad other technologies needed for weapons and economic development.

Early in the administration, many White House officials thought Kim’s nuclear ambitions would prove to be perhaps the administration’s most galling challenge and that the North Korean leader would aim to test Biden’s courage early in the year. his mandate.

During the first 14 months of Biden’s administration, Pyongyang stood up to missile tests even as it ignored the administration’s efforts to reach back channels in hopes of resuming talks that could lead to the denuclearization of the North in exchange for easing sanctions.

But the quiet did not last. North Korea has tested missiles 16 times this year, including in March, when its first ICBM flight since 2017 demonstrated a potential range that included the entire U.S. mainland.

The Biden administration calls on China to prevent North Korea from engaging in any missile or nuclear tests. Speaking to Air Force One, Sullivan said Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping could hold a phone call in the coming weeks.

NORTH KOREA CAN PUT IN THE PHASE OF THE LAUNCH OF THE ICBM TEST AS BIDEN PREPARES FOR THE TRIP TO ASIA, SAYS THE SOURCE

President Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visit the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek campus on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Photo AP / Evan Vucci)

President Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visit the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek campus on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Photo AP / Evan Vucci)
(Photo AP / Evan Vucci)

Biden harshly criticized Beijing for its records of human rights, business practices, military harassment of the self-governing island of Taiwan, and more. And while Biden has made it clear that he sees China as the United States’ biggest economic and national security competitor, he says it is critical to keep the lines of communication open so that the two powers can cooperate on matters of mutual concern. North Korea is perhaps the highest on that list.

White House officials said Biden will not visit the demilitarized zone dividing the Korean peninsula during his trip, something that has become standard for presidents during Ronald Reagan’s visits to Seoul. Biden visited the DMZ in 2013 as a vice president. Sullivan said the president’s decision to skip the bus stop this time was not driven by safety concerns.

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Instead, Biden will visit the Air Operations Center’s Combat Operations Floor on Osan Air Base south of Seoul on Sunday. The United States sees it as one of the most critical installations in Northeast Asia.

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