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Biden in S. Korea to reaffirm U.S. commitment to defense of allies: State Dept.

All News 03:56 May 21, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Yonhap) -- President Joe Biden's ongoing trip to South Korea and Japan is to send a clear message to North Korea that it will respond "decisively" to any threats or aggressions from the recalcitrant country, a state department spokesperson said Friday.

The department spokesperson, Ned Price, also reiterated the possibility of North Korea staging a nuclear test or other provocative action during Biden's trip.

"We remain concerned that the DPRK may attempt to undertake another provocation during the course of the president's visit to Northeast Asia or in the days following that could include another ICBM test, that could include a test of a nuclear weapon," Price said in a telephonic press briefing, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea has so far staged 16 rounds of missile tests this year, including at least three launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

"Of course, the president is in the region. He is in the region to send a message of solidarity with our partners, to send a message that the United States is there and will be there for our allies and partners to provide deterrence, to provide defense for our treaty allies in the region," said Price.

Biden arrived in Seoul earlier in the day on a three-day visit. He is set to hold his first bilateral summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Saturday before heading to Tokyo the following day for a three-day visit.

The department spokesperson said Biden will have an opportunity to sit down with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts and to "make very clear that we will respond decisively to any threats and any aggression."


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