Biden and South Korea’s Yoon set to discuss nuclear cooperation, North Korea | World News

President Joe Biden is setting aside Saturday to strengthen relations with South Korea and its new leader, Eun Suk Yol, as both sides discuss how to review a nuclear threat from North Korea at a time when there is little hope of genuine diplomacy.

The partition of the Korean peninsula after World War II resulted in two fundamentally different countries. In South Korea, Biden is touring factories for democratic computer chips and the next generation of autos, and is in talks for greater cooperation. But in the North, there is a deadly coronavirus outbreak in a largely non-vaccinated autocracy that can command the world’s attention better by bending its nuclear capabilities.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew to South Korea, said the US had coordinated with Seoul and Tokyo on how they would respond if the North had a nuclear test or missile strike. In the area or soon. Sullivan spoke with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi earlier in the week and urged Beijing to use its influence to persuade the North to stop the tests.

“China should consider taking any steps to reduce the likelihood of a provocative act,” Sullivan said.

As part of a five-day visit to Asia, Biden spent his Saturday focusing on his relationship with Yoon, who took office a week ago. A mission promises South Korea about the US commitment to confront North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

There are concerns in Seoul that Washington is re-enacting the Obama administration’s “strategic patience” policy of ignoring North Korea until it demonstrates the seriousness of nuclear disarmament, which has been criticized for ignoring the answer as it has made huge strides in building its nuclear arsenal.

The prospects for genuine nuclear diplomacy are slim as North Korea ignores its COVID-19 outbreak with South Korea and US aid contributions, diluting hopes that such cooperation will help reduce nuclear tensions or lead to negotiations. Still, Biden and Yoon are expected to discuss ways to work with the international community to get the much-needed vaccines and tests for the North, senior Biden administration officials told reporters.

The US president began laying a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery on Saturday, wearing white gloves as he burned incense. Biden then meets with Yoon in private, holds a joint news conference and attends a state luncheon at the National Museum of Korea.

A Focus is certainly a threat to the North but financially weaker. Two other leaders are keen to emphasize their growing business relationship, as two Korean industrial giants – Samsung and Hyundai – are opening major plants in the US.

Biden is facing dissent within the US over inflation at a 40-year high, but his administration sees a clear economic victory in competition with China. Bloomberg Economics Analysis predicts that for the first time since 1976, the US economy will grow faster than China’s this year, with White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre Biden predicting the cost of coronavirus relief and infrastructure.

The national security incident that sparked wider debate between the two countries is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war that has brought unprecedented sanctions from the US and its allies.

South Korea joined the US in imposing export controls against Russia and blocking Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system. Its participation was instrumental in stopping Russian access to computer chips and other technologies needed for weapons and economic development.

At the beginning of the administration, many White House officials thought that Kim’s nuclear ambitions would prove to be the regime’s most difficult challenge, and that the North Korean leader was aiming to test Biden’s ability early in office.

Through the first 14 months of Biden’s administration, Pyongyang has suspended missile inspections, despite the administration’s attempts to reach through back channels in hopes of restarting negotiations that would lead to a nuclear disarmament in return for sanctions.

But the silence did not last. North Korea tested 16 separate missiles this year, including in March, the first flight of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, demonstrating potential coverage, including the entire US mainland.

The Biden administration is calling on China to stop North Korea from engaging in any missile or nuclear tests. Speaking on Air Force One, Sullivan said Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping could hold the phone call in the coming weeks.

Biden has been heavily critical of Beijing’s human rights record, trade practices, military harassment of the self-governing Taiwanese island nation and more. And Biden made it clear that he sees China as the United States’ greatest economic and national security rival, saying that it is important to keep the lines of communication open so that the two powers can cooperate in matters of mutual concern. North Korea is probably high on that list.

White House officials said Biden would not visit the demilitarized zone dividing the Korean peninsula during his trip – which was standard for the president during Ronald Reagan’s previous Seoul visit. Biden visited DMZ in 2013 as vice president. Sullivan said the president’s decision to quit this time was not driven by security concerns.

Instead, Biden will visit the air operations center of the Air Operations Center at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, on Sunday. The US sees it as one of the most critical establishments in Northeast Asia.

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