November 28, 2022

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Biden sends a message to Kim Jong Un as he concludes the first leg of his trip to Asia

Biden sends a message to Kim Jong Un as he concludes the first leg of his trip to Asia


flood
CNN

Before President Joe Biden concludes his visit to South Korea on Sunday, he delivered a brief message to A nuclear-armed dictator To the north, which US officials believe may be preparing a provocation during the US leader’s visit to Asia.

Hello, Biden said when asked about his message to Kim Jong Un. “interval.”

The brief salute reflected the Biden administration’s so far failed attempts to resume diplomacy with Pyongyang. Attempts to communicate with the North have mostly gone unanswered. Instead, Kim has ramped up missile launches and could prepare for a seventh underground nuclear test.

Biden, who landed in Tokyo early Sunday night, said he was prepared for such emergencies during his first trip to Asia.

We are ready for whatever North Korea does. We’ve thought about how to respond to everything they do. “So I’m not worried,” Biden said.

Before his visit, he was speaking with some of the roughly 30,000 US troops stationed here as the last stop on his visit to South Korea.

The Americans spread on the Korean peninsula It has long served as a signal of US military might in a region of concern for the nuclear-armed state in the North. Increasingly, they also act as a reminder of the western muscles of the An area heavily influenced by China.

Biden noted a joint airspace control center where members of the US and South Korean militaries work side by side to monitor an airspace that has been strained by an intensification of North Korean missile tests.

“Our alliance was formed by the joint sacrifices of the Korean War and after several decades, thank you, a strong and prosperous DPRK,” Biden told the group, standing near a large screen displaying images of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Biden chose not to visit the DMZ on his visit, unlike his predecessors, because he wanted to see US military personnel at their base.

“All the American forces that are here and your families, thank you for what you are doing for our country and our allies,” he said. Later, he joined a group of military families to get ice cream.

Earlier in the day, the president met Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Uesun in Seoul, where he highlighted $11 billion in new investment from the Korean automaker, including $5.5 billion to open a new electric vehicle plant in Savannah, Georgia. .

One of Biden’s main goals in visiting Asia This week he was reaffirming his commitment to two major alliances while also looking for ways to expand cooperation. He will leave South Korea for Japan later in the day, bringing with him a similar reassurance message that America’s longtime ally in the Pacific can count on the United States as a reliable security and economic partner.

The day before, Biden and his South Korean counterpart, President Yoon Seok-yeol, wrote in a joint statement that they were open to expanding joint military exercises that Biden’s predecessor had scaled back, believing them to be too costly and provocative. Biden said the cooperation between the two countries showed “our willingness to confront all threats together.”

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On Sunday, a senior administration official said the expanded military exercises would be aimed at ensuring “what is needed to best ensure military readiness and ensure that we can work closely together,” though he declined to offer a timeline or guidance on the scope of the expanded extension. exercises.

“We are proud to say, the generals with me today can also say, that our armed forces stand shoulder to shoulder, standing on the peninsula for seven decades to maintain peace and make This co-prosperity is possible.”

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He would likely take a similar message to Japan, which also hosts a large number of American service members and maintains a mutual defense treaty with the United States. Growing provocations from North Korea and land grabs by China have caused deep concern in the country, which is looking to the United States for guarantees about its security.

Biden is expected to call Emperor Naruhito at his Imperial Palace before meeting on Monday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office last fall. Later, he will unveil the outlines of a trade plan for Asia that officials hope will generate broad support. He will conclude his visit with a summit of the Quartet – which includes the United States, Japan, India and Australia – which is widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s military and economic ambitions.

On his trip, Biden sought to connect parallel sets of economic and security issues that surfaced in his discussions with leaders. His trade scheme, seen as a watered-down alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact that his predecessor scrapped, is expected to focus heavily on flexible supply chains disconnected from Chinese parts – a message he conveyed at multiple points in Seoul.

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Among the many other issues he hopes to raise – which include regional security, trade, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war – is improving relations between the two countries he is visiting this week. Relations between Japan and South Korea It has worsened in recent years, a combination of long-breathing historical resentment and modern business actions.

Biden told reporters in Seoul on Saturday that it was “very important” that the United States, South Korea and Japan had a “very close trilateral relationship.”

He said the current state of the world, where authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia have challenged democratic norms, is demanding that the rest of the world stick together, despite persistent disagreements.

“Things have changed,” Biden said during his press conference. “There is a feeling among the democracies in the Pacific that there is a need to cooperate closely, not only militarily but also economically and politically.”