In the aftermath of Biden’s Asia visit, South Korea’s new government is torn between South Korea-US relations and South Korea-China relations

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Joe Biden - Yoon Suk-yeol
South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (L) and US President Joe Biden (R) are shown in this composite fle photo. (Source: Yonhap)

Jakarta, IO – From the 20th to the 24th of this month, US President Joe Biden visited South Korea and Japan, with a three-day visit to South Korea from the 21st to the 23rd. Biden’s first Asian tour, which begins in South Korea, is significant. The following will cover the world situation’s urgency, the reconfirmation of the South Korea-US alliance, the desire for South Korea to actively engage in China’s blockade, the restoration of South Korea-Japan relations, and the strengthening of South Korea and the US. Biden’s visit to South Korea is significant in various ways, including Japan collaboration and the normalization of THAAD operations. 

First, the context of Biden’s travel to South Korea is tied to the world situation’s severity. This was done in the backdrop of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the fight for hegemony between the US and China, and North Korea’s high level of nuclear weaponization. The US has concentrated on bolstering “alliance cohesiveness.” On May 21, Biden and Yoon will conduct the quickest South Korea-US summit meeting since the formation of the new South Korean administration. Yoon has in-depth and extended discussions with Biden about problems such as the evolution of the South Korea-US alliance, policy cooperation with North Korea, economic security, and important regional and international issues. 

Second, Biden took the lead in visiting South Korea, primarily to reaffirm Yoon’s campaign promise of “strengthening the Korea-US alliance” (Biden planned to visit South Korea first, followed by the Quartet Mechanism (QUAD) conference in Japan). Yoon campaigned on a vow to join the US-Japan-India-Australia Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), restore the Korea-US alliance, and deepen the comprehensive strategic alliance in the general election. 

Biden will use this visit to study the “strengthening strategy of the Korea-US relationship” underlined by Yoon’s new government, and to determine whether South Korea “is a trustworthy country.” Yoon’s new administration also seeks to safeguard the efficiency of South Korea’s economic territorial development by actively engaging in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework led by the United States (IPEF).