[뉴스초점] Biden’s visit to Korea begins… Korea-US summit tomorrow

■ Broadcast: May 20, 2022 (Fri)
■ Host: Seonghwan Seong, Da-eun Kang, anchors
■ Cast: Cha Doo-hyeon, Senior Research Fellow, Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Moon Seong-mook, Director of the Center for Unification Strategy, Korea Institute of National Strategy

US President Joe Biden just arrived.

We will visit President Yoon Seok-yeol and Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek semiconductor plant as the first itinerary in Korea for 3 days and 2 nights.

As President Biden chose Korea as his first Asian tour since taking office, and the Korea-US summit will be held 11 days after President Yun took office, expectations are growing for strengthening the ‘economic alliance’ beyond the ‘military alliance’ between the ROK and the US.

For more details, we will discuss with Cha Doo-hyeon, Senior Research Fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

This is US President Joe Biden’s first Asian tour in a year and four months since taking office. After a while, you will arrive at the US military base in Osan, Gyeonggi-do. I chose Korea as my first country to visit. It is the first time in 29 years since Bill Clinton in 1993 that a US president visits Korea before Japan. The White House has drawn a line not to think deeply about the order of the tour, but what do you think it means?

President Biden visits Samsung’s semiconductor factory in Pyeongtaek as his first trip to Korea. This is where I first met President Yoon Seok-yeol. It seems that the two leaders will each give a speech at a semiconductor factory. Isn’t it quite unusual for the president of the United States to visit a company on his first itinerary?

I remember President Biden holding and shaking a wafer, a key material in the semiconductor process. He personally organized semiconductor-related meetings and called Samsung Electronics officials from the US to the White House. It seems that they are making clear their will to regain dominance in semiconductors with the reorganization of the semiconductor supply chain?

Cutting-edge technology, including semiconductors, is one of the fierce battlefields in which the US and China are competing for supremacy. President Biden’s visit to Samsung Electronics is expected to serve as an opportunity for South Korea and the United States to engage in strategic cooperation in the field of high-tech. How do you view the prospect that this visit will serve as an opportunity to strengthen the ROK-US alliance into a comprehensive strategic alliance?

President Biden plans to announce the launch of IPEF, a new economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, in Japan, the next country to visit. It is called a consultative body for building a new supply chain excluding China. IPEF is also said to be a cooperative platform rather than an alliance or agreement. What does that mean?

The Korean government also made the IPEF membership a standard fact, stating that it was not aimed at a specific country. However, as the name of the IPEF suggests, as part of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, isn’t it actually a check on China? Do you think China’s judgment is different?

In a videoconference with Foreign Minister Park Jin on the 16th, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made it clear that he opposes the decoupling between Korea and China and ‘severing relations and severing supply chains’. It appears that the Yun Seok-yeol administration has been put to a diplomatic test between Korea-US and South Korea-China?

It is also noteworthy that this summit will lay the foundation for trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the US, and Japan. The United States is likely to emphasize trilateral security cooperation between South Korea, the United States, and Japan in terms of the situation in Northeast Asia. In particular, in the United States, there is a growing voice that Korea’s participation in the Quad Working Group should be used as an opportunity to improve relations between Korea and Japan and to promote trilateral cooperation.

President Yoon Seok-yeol will hold a summit meeting with US President Joe Biden tomorrow in Seoul. They are expected to exchange opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, economic and security cooperation, and global issues, including the North Korean and North Korean nuclear issues. As the South Korea and the United States have stated earlier, the top priority of this meeting should be the North Korean nuclear issue and North Korea issue, right?

In particular, tensions are rising as it is known that North Korea may additionally launch an ICBM or conduct a nuclear test during or immediately after President Biden’s visit to South Korea or Japan. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who is attending President Biden’s tour, repeatedly emphasized the possibility of a North Korean provocation during the tour. How do you view North Korea’s provocations?

As there is tension over provocations throughout the tour schedule, it seems that the two leaders of the United States and the Republic of Korea will announce a more decisive response to the North Korean nuclear issue than ever before. To what extent do you think the two countries will come up with a plan for extended deterrence in response to North Korean nuclear missiles?

It has been over a week since North Korea announced the outbreak of COVID-19. The situation is serious enough that Kim Jong-un, chairman of the State Council, called it a ‘great turmoil since the founding of the country’. North Korea is not responding to the South Korean government’s proposal to provide COVID-19 vaccines and quarantine supplies. Didn’t the US also say that it supports support for a coronavirus vaccine to North Korea from a humanitarian standpoint? However, as there is no response from North Korea to medical aid, it seems difficult for the summit agenda?

U.S. President Joe Biden and President Yoon Seok-yeol, the two leaders, have more differences than they have in common. While President Yoon is a ‘rookie’ on the diplomatic stage less than a year after he entered politics as a prosecutor, isn’t President Biden a ‘bastard veteran’ who has been active in politics and diplomacy for over half a century? How do you see the chemistry between the two of them, in harmony with the Democratic government of the United States and the conservative government of South Korea?

Didn’t the US presidents who visited Korea in the past always visit the DMZ? President Biden had already been to the DMZ during his vice president years, and he said he had a lot of other things to discuss, saying he wasn’t visiting this time. Instead, President Biden will visit Osan Air Base with President Yoon Seok-yeol to show off the ROK-U.S. alliance, right?

It is known that US President Joe Biden will meet Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun on the last day of his visit to Korea. It is said that this is to express gratitude for the establishment of an electric vehicle plant in the United States, but the background is attracting attention.

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2022/05/20 21:11 Send

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