U.S. not considering adding S. Korea to Quad: official
SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- The United States is not considering adding South Korea to the Washington-led Quad security forum seen by many as a partnership to counter an assertive China, a senior U.S. official reportedly said Sunday.
The official made the remarks while accompanying U.S. President Joe Biden on his three-day trip in Seoul, which will be followed by a visit to Tokyo for the summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) slated for Tuesday. The Quad consists of the U.S., Australia, India and Japan. Biden had summit talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Saturday, during which they presented a shared vision for a "Global Comprehensive Strategic Alliance" between the two sides.
"Not currently under consideration to add South Korea to Quad," the official was quoted by Reuters as saying.
His remarks indicated that at the moment, Washington is not looking for the expansion of the dialogue platform into the "Quad plus" to include additional members like South Korea.
Such a U.S. stance has already been stated in the lead-up to Biden's first Asia swing since his inauguration early last year.
"I think that we have to recognize that the Quad is still developing, and so we're looking for ways in which we can reinforce and strengthen what we've done so far," another U.S. official told reporters via teleconference Friday. "But at the same time, I think that we welcome any support for the Quad."
During his election campaign, Yoon has pledged to take part in the Quad's various working groups like those on climate change and technologies in order to gradually expand cooperation between South Korea and the Quad.
Major N. Korean websites offline as of Tuesday morning
(LEAD) S. Korea fully restores bilateral military information-sharing pact with Japan
American admits to train graffiti-related charges but calls himself artist
Actor Yoo Ah-in to appear for questioning Friday over alleged drug use
Apple launches Apple Pay in S. Korea
Yoon puts S. Korea-Japan relations back on track
Japan's removal of export curbs on S. Korea to boost supply chain stability, ease biz uncertainties
Yoon's summit with Biden to highlight S. Korea's 'pivotal' role in region: U.S. experts
(News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan
Seoul's controversial plan for forced labor compensation reflects urgency of security partnership with Tokyo: experts