The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will embark on a trip to South Korea and Japan in May “to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and people”.
According to a statement attributed to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden will travel to the two countries from May 20-24, marking his first visit to Asia since taking office in January 2021.
“This trip will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to US treaty alliances with South Korea and Japan,” Psaki was quoted as saying in the statement issued late Wednesday.
During his trip to South Korea from May 20-22, Biden will meet his incoming counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to take office on May 10.
Earlier this month, Yoon had sent a special delegation to Washington to deliver a letter to Biden, in which the incoming South Korean leader reportedly expressed his hope to further expand and upgrade the Washington-Seoul alliance into a “more comprehensive and strategic” relationship, reports Yonhap News Agency.
On the second leg of his trip in Tokyo, Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Psaki said.
In Tokyo, the US President will also attend a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) summit, along with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, the Press Secretary added.
South Korea and Japan were also the destination of the first overseas trip by both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in March 2021.