South Korea's Yoon Biden has vowed to block North Korea while offering COVID-19 assistance

South Korea’s Yoon Biden has vowed to block North Korea while offering COVID-19 assistance – Mail Bonus

President Joe Biden and his new South Korean counterpart on Saturday agreed to hold larger military exercises and use more US weapons if necessary to deter North Korea, at the same time as they offered to send COVID-19 vaccines and possibly meet with Kim Jong Un.

Biden and Yoon Suk-yeol said their decades-old alliance needed to be developed not only to meet threats from North Korea but to keep the Indo-Pacific “free and open” and protect international supply chains.

The two leaders meet in Seoul for their first diplomatic engagement since the inauguration of South Korea’s president 11 days ago. The alliance meeting was clouded by intelligence services that showed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he was ready to conduct nuclear or missile tests.

Yoon had sought greater reassurance that the United States would increase its deterrent power against North Korean threats. In a joint statement, Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to defend South Korea with nuclear weapons if necessary.

Both parties agreed to consider expanding their combined exercises, which had been reduced in recent years due to COVID-19 and efforts to reduce tensions in the Nordic countries.

The United States has also promised to use “strategic assets” – which usually include long-range bombers, rocket submarines or aircraft carriers – if necessary to deter North Korea, the statement said.

Both leaders said they were determined to disarm North Korea and open to diplomacy with Pyongyang.

“As for whether I would meet with the North Korean leader, it would depend on whether he was sincere or serious,” Biden told a joint news conference.

He said Washington had offered China and North Korea a vaccine against COVID-19, which is fighting the first known outbreak. “We have no answer,” Biden said.

North Korea reported more than 200,000 new patients suffering from fever for the fifth day in a row on Saturday, but the country has little in the way of vaccines or modern pandemic treatment.

APPLICANT Alliance

The alliance between the United States and South Korea, which dates back to the 1950-1953 Korean War, must continue to evolve to keep the Indo-Pacific “free and open,” Biden said.

He said the alliance was based on opposition to changing borders by force – a clear reference to Russia’s war in Ukraine and Chinese demands for Taiwan.

The joint declaration called for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Asked by reporters about the possible reaction from Beijing, Kim Sung-han, Yoon’s national security adviser, said that these issues were directly related to the South Korean national interest, as its ships go the way.

“So I think there is little room for Chinese retaliation or misunderstanding,” he said.

Changes in international trade and supply chains have given the United States and South Korea new impetus to deepen ties, Yoon said, calling for cooperation on batteries and semiconductors.

Biden used the visit to encourage Korean companies to invest in the United States, including a $ 5.5 billion investment by Hyundai Motor Group in South Korea to build its first specialized electric car and battery manufacturing facility in the United States.

The two leaders went on a tour of the Samsung semiconductor factory on Friday, where Biden said that countries such as the United States and South Korea to “share values” needed to work harder to protect economic and national security.

Yoon said the concept of economic security will include cooperation in the event of shocks in the foreign exchange market.

The South Korean president, who is interested in playing a bigger role in regional affairs, said his country would join the Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which will be announced in the move to set standards for labor, the environment and supply chains.

China is South Korea’s main trading partner, and Yoon’s aides emphasized that neither the Joint Declaration nor IPEF outright ruled out any country.

Although White House officials have tried to downplay all clear messages about fighting China, it is the theme of Biden’s trip and has captured Beijing’s attention.

“We hope the United States will coordinate its work and work with countries in the region to promote solidarity and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, instead of planning divisions and conflicts,” Liu Xiaoming, Korea’s envoy to Korea, said on Twitter. .

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