President of South Korea to pay state visit to U.S. from April 24-29

President of South Korea to pay state visit to U.S. from April 24-29
# 20 April 2023 10:50 (UTC +04:00)

President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol will pay a state visit to the United States from April 24-29 to hold a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and mark the 70th anniversary of the bilateral alliance, a presidential official said Thursday, APA reports citing Yonhap.

Yoon will be the first South Korean president since Lee Myung-bak in 2011 to pay a state visit to the U.S., Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo told reporters while announcing the details of his trip.

Yoon and Biden will hold a summit at the White House on April 26 after an official welcoming ceremony and before a state dinner where they will be joined by first ladies Kim Keon Hee and Jill Biden.

"The two leaders will spend a lot of time together over the course of many events ... celebrate the achievements of the South Korea-U.S. alliance accumulated over 70 years, and exchange in-depth views on the alliance's way forward," Kim Tae-hyo said.

The summit will mark the sixth meeting between Yoon and Biden, following those in Seoul last May and then in Madrid, London, New York and Phnom Penh.

"We expect the contents and breadth of our global comprehensive strategic alliance to be further expanded at the upcoming talks, based on the trust and friendship the leaders have built until now," Kim said.

The adviser pointed to four key areas where he expects to see results, including a strengthening of the allies' combined defense posture and a more detailed implementation of the U.S. extended deterrence commitment to South Korea.

Extended deterrence refers to the U.S.' commitment to mobilizing the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.

The credibility of that commitment has sometimes been called into question in South Korea as North Korea has simulated nuclear missile strikes on the South while advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities.

Kim said the summit will also aim to flesh out cooperation on economic security, such as in semiconductors and batteries; promote exchanges between future generations, including by nurturing talents in the advanced technology sector; and strengthen cooperation on international issues.

On the eve of the summit, Biden and first lady Jill will invite Yoon and first lady Kim to an informal get-together, he said.

On April 27, Yoon will deliver an address before a joint session of Congress and look back on the past 70 years of an alliance rooted in the shared values of a liberal democracy, the rule of law and human rights, address the challenges the two countries face and present a blueprint for the alliance's way forward.

He will then have lunch with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris before moving to an undisclosed location to receive a briefing from U.S. military leaders.

Later that day, Yoon will travel to Boston and hold discussions on April 28 with digital and bio scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will also deliver an address at Harvard University the same day.

"President Yoon will look back on the U.S.-led expansion of economic and political freedoms over the past 200 years and share his thoughts on the two sides of freedom in the digital era we live in," Kim said.

Yoon will wrap up his trip and depart for Seoul on April 29.