June 17, 2021

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Korean security issues are getting increasingly caught up in US-China tensions

Pompeo’s canceled Seoul trip shows that Beijing is the priority, and that South Korea is falling into a deepening bind

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was originally scheduled to travel to Japan, Mongolia and South Korea between Oct. 4 and Oct. 8. But in the wake of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, Pompeo downsized his trip to only Tokyo, cutting Seoul out of the fray completely. 

Pompeo spent three days in Tokyo this week, meeting on Tuesday with his counterparts from Australia, India and Japan — who, together with the U.S., make up a group called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad.”