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Yoon to depart for US to attend summit with Biden, KishidaBy Yonhap
Published : Aug. 17, 2023 - 09:17
President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to depart for the United States on Thursday to attend a trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on ways to enhance security cooperation in the face of North Korea's nuclear threat.
The summit will be held at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on Friday, marking the first time the three countries' leaders will meet for a stand-alone trilateral summit that's not on the sidelines of a multilateral event.
The summit was proposed by Biden when the three leaders met on the margins of a Group of Seven summit in Japan in May as the US pushes to lock in recently improved Seoul-Tokyo ties in a trilateral framework countering China and Russia's growing assertiveness.
As such, cooperation on economic security issues, such as building resilient supply chains for semiconductors and batteries, is also expected to feature high on the agenda.
"Through the upcoming South Korea-US-Japan summit, Camp David will be recorded as the site of 21st-century diplomatic history that opened a new chapter in trilateral cooperation," Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo told reporters Sunday. "Trilateral consultations among South Korea, the US, and Japan will gain a clear independent identity as an Indo-Pacific cooperation body."
Kim said the summit will help the countries create and institutionalize a "key framework" for trilateral cooperation in the future, while also allowing the leaders to discuss a common vision and basic principles for trilateral cooperation and build comprehensive and multilayered cooperation mechanisms across diverse sectors at every level.
The three leaders are reportedly planning to announce the "Camp David Principles," outlining specific measures to enhance trilateral cooperation, including the establishment of a three-way hotline and the obligation to consult with one another in the event of a military crisis.
In a speech commemorating Korea's independence from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule Tuesday, Yoon touted the upcoming summit as one that will "set a new milestone in trilateral cooperation, contributing to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region."
Meanwhile, in an interview with Bloomberg published Wednesday, he said he expects to see an agreement on ways to enhance the three countries' capabilities to respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, including through the possible increase of trilateral defense exercises.
He also said the three countries will work to operationalize their sharing of missile warning data on North Korea in real time within this year.
The three leaders' schedule on Friday will include a luncheon together and a joint press conference. Talks are also underway to arrange a Yoon-Biden summit and a Yoon-Kishida summit during the day.
Yoon will depart the US on Friday evening to return home.
First Lady Kim Keon Hee will not accompany him on the trip to the US, which will come only hours after the funeral of Yoon's father. (Yonhap)
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