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Recommendations for Yoon-Biden Summit – Must Build on the Strong Alliance Foundation
19fortyfive.com · by David Maxwell · May 16, 2022
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol began his five-year term on May 10 with a midnight security briefing from the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff. This meeting, which precedes a May 21 summit between Yoon and U.S. President Joe Biden, reflects Yoon’s view that North Korea is the South’s “main enemy.”
Yoon’s presidency comes at a tumultuous time in U.S. foreign policy. Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine continues, and it enjoys Chinese support. Strategic competition is expanding with Beijing in the Indo-Pacific. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has conducted 16 missile tests in 2022 so far. Raising the possibility of internal instability in North Korea is the COVID-19 outbreak that Kim has finally admitted to, after more than two years of claiming zero cases in the country.
In this context, the South Korea-U.S. alliance remains as important as ever. The upcoming summit provides an opportunity not only to reaffirm the alliance at the start of the Yoon administration, but also to build on the ROK-U.S. vision laid out in the May 2021 summit.