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(2nd LD) Biden to visit South Korea, Japan from May 20-24: White House

All News 09:32 April 28, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with reports of statement from White House press secretary, additional information throughout)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, April 27 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Joe Biden will visit South Korea and Japan in late May for summit talks with his counterparts, the White House announced Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president will visit South Korea and Japan from May 20-24, without providing further details of his planned trip.

An official in Seoul said the U.S. president is scheduled to visit Seoul from May 20-May 22.

"President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will visit the Republic of Korea and Japan from May 20-May 24 to further deepen ties between our governments, economies and people," Psaki said in a statement, referring to South Korea by its official name.

"This trip will advance the Biden-Harris administration's rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and to U.S. treaty alliances with the Republic of Korea and Japan," she added.

Rep. Park Jin (L) of the main opposition People Power Party, who leads South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's policy consultation delegation to the United States, poses with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan while handing over Yoon's personal letter to U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2022, in this photo provided by the group. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

In Seoul, Biden will hold his first in-person summit with South Korea's newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to take office on May 10.

Yoon sent a special delegation to Washington earlier this month to deliver a letter to the U.S. president, in which the incoming South Korean leader reportedly expressed his hope to further expand and upgrade the U.S.-South Korea alliance into a "more comprehensive and strategic" relationship.

"The leaders will discuss opportunities to deepen our vital security relationships, enhance economic ties and expand our close cooperation to deliver practical results," Psaki said of Biden's meeting with Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

In Tokyo, Biden will also attend a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) summit, along with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, according to the White House spokesperson.

The trip will mark Biden's first visit to Asia since taking office in January 2021, which will again highlight the emphasis the Biden administration has placed on the U.S.' alliances with its two key Asian allies.

South Korea and Japan were also the destination of the first overseas trip by both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in March 2021.

bdk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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