The state visit of the South Korean president, Yoon Suk-yeolto the United States next April will mark “a historical turning point” for the alliance between the two countries, his presidential office said on Wednesday.
next visit of Yoon to the North American country, during which he will meet with the American president, Joe Bidenon April 26, coincides with the seventieth anniversary of their bilateral allianceon which occasion the leaders will “celebrate the achievements” of the same and will hold “discussions on the direction of its future development.”
The presidents are expected to define “concrete and practical measures in various areas”, among them the so-called extended deterrencethe development of advanced technologies, the economic security and cultural exchanges, as explained by the presidential spokeswoman kim eun hye in a statement published shortly after the official announcement of the visit by the White House.
“President Yoon’s state visit to the United States will be a historic turning point for the South Korea-US alliance, considered one of the most successful in history, to evolve more proactively in the face of the rapidly changing situation. and future uncertainties,” Kim added.
Yoon will be the first South Korean president to pay a state visit to Washington since President Lee Myung-bak in 2011.
Biden will honor Yoon and his wife and first lady, kim keon-heein which he will mark the second state visit that he will celebrate since he came to power in January 2021.
For now, the only one who has been honored in this way by the US president has been the French president, Emmanuel Macronwho visited Washington in December of last year.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierreexplained in a statement that the two leaders will highlight the importance of the “iron” US-South Korea allianceas well as his intention to delve into the areas of economy and security.
Jean Pierre He stressed that the alliance between Seoul and Washington is “fundamental” to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the two nations, the Indo-Pacific and the rest of the world.
The White House statement makes no mention of Chinaalthough the visit will take place at a time when the Biden government seeks to strengthen ties with its great regional allies, Japan and South Korea, to counter the power of the Asian giant.
Although it is not mentioned in the statement either, another of the most important issues in the relationship between Seoul and Washington is the North Korea nuclear threat.
The Korean peninsula is experiencing a historic level of tension after last year Pyongyang reject Seoul’s offers to return to dialogue and conduct a record number of weapons tests.
On February 16, Japan and the US carried out large-scale joint military exercises southwest of the japanese archipelagodesigned to improve their operational capabilities in the face of the growing presence of China in those waters.
These annual exercises called “Iron Fist” (“Iron Fist”) were held for the first time outside of California (USA) since they were launched in 2006, and in this edition they had a total of 1,700 troops.
The maneuvers included the simulation of the defense and recapture of remote islands using amphibious vehicles and Osprey aircraftaccording to the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
(With information from EFE)
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