Expert roundup: What did the US and South Korea achieve at their latest summit?
Korea Pro asks experts what the key wins and missed opportunities were during first Yoon-Biden summit
U.S. President Joe Biden visited Seoul last Friday and held his first three-day meeting with recently inaugurated South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The two started the schedule visiting a Samsung semiconductor campus, stressing the importance of bilateral cooperation for stabilizing global supply chains. On the second day, Yoon and Biden held a summit at the new Yongsan presidential office and discussed extended deterrence, strategic asset deployment and economic security.
Biden also visited the ROK military unit tasked with implementing the country’s “three-axis” defense system including preemptive strike capabilities, aiming to demonstrate Seoul and Washington’s combined readiness in the face of increasing North Korean missile and nuclear threats.South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden at Osan Air Base on May 22, 2022 | Image: ROK Presidential Office
Experts told Korea Pro that Seoul’s firm backing of U.S. leadership in the region, as well as South Korean firms’ stateside investment commitments amid ongoing domestic economic difficulties ahead of the U.S. midterm election, were major “wins” for Biden.
For Yoon, hosting the U.S. president less than two weeks after becoming president was a big boon for the political neophyte, experts said. Yoon was able to secure stronger extended deterrence commitments from Washington, a key goal for the conservative leader.
However, experts also told Korea Pro that there were missed opportunities, including no explicit outline of Washington’s support for Seoul should Beijing retaliate economically against Yoon’s pro-U.S. policies.
Korea Pro asked the following experts to analyze what the top achievements and missed opportunities were during the summit.Andrei Lankov, professor, Kookmin University Christopher Green, Assistant professor, Leiden University Kuyoun Chung, Assistant professor of political science, Kangwon National
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