PHNOM PENH: President Joe Biden plans to meet Sunday with leaders from Japan and South Korea in order to coordinate their responses against North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile threats. Also, Biden will seek input on China’s assertiveness in the Pacific region ahead of his scheduled face-to-face meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Biden will meet separately with Fumio Kinio Kishida, the Japanese Prime Minister, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. They will then meet together at the East Asia Summit, Cambodia.
These meetings are coming as North Korea has fired dozens upon missiles in recent weeks. The most notable being an intercontinental ballistic Missile 10 days ago. It also triggered evacuation alerts across northern Japan. Allies warn that there is a risk that the country will conduct its seventh nuclear test within the next weeks.
Jake, US National Security Advisor Sullivan Biden told reporters Saturday that he hoped to use the meetings in order to strengthen the response of the three countries to North Korea’s threat. Officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said to reporters.
“What we would really like to see is enhanced trilateral security cooperation where the three countries are all coming together,” He said.
“That’s acutely true with respect to the DPRK because of the common threat and challenge we all face, but it’s also true, more broadly, about our capacity to work together to enhance overall peace and stability in the region.”
Tensions have risen on the Korean Peninsula in recent months due to North Korea’s continued weapons demonstrations and US-South Korea’s intensified joint defense exercises.
Two B-1B bombers were trained by the South Korean military with four F-16 fighter jets from the United States and four F-35 jets from South Korea during the last day. “Vigilant Storm” joint air force drills.
The deployment of the bombers to the Korean Peninsula was the first since December 2017. There were approximately 240 warplanes involved in the exercise, including F-35 fighter planes from both countries.
North Korea responded by flying large numbers warplanes within its territory.
Biden has stated that it has repeatedly asked North Korea to negotiate without any preconditions regarding its nuclear and ballistic missile program. Kim Jong UnThe government has yet to respond.
Biden said he would press Xi for China’s unique sway to North Korea to end its aggressive behavior. The meeting is expected to be a bilateral meeting that will cover a wide range of topics at the fringes of the Group of 20 gathering, Bali, Indonesia.
China “has an interest in playing a constructive role in restraining North Korea’s worst tendencies,” Sullivan said on Saturday.
“Whether they choose to do so or not is, of course, up to them.”
Biden told reporters on Sunday that he’s “always had straightforward discussions” with Xi, and that has prevented either of them from “miscalculations” of their intentions.
Their meeting comes weeks after Xi cemented his grip on China’s political system with the conclusion of the Community Party congress in Beijing that gave him a norm-breaking third term as leader.
“His circumstances changed, to state the obvious, at home,” Biden said of Xi.
Biden maintained that his own have as well, saying that after Democrats retained control of the Senate in the midterm elections, “I know I’m coming in stronger.”
Monday’s meeting is the first formal sit-down between leaders since Biden’s election to the White House.
US officials in the past have expressed frustration that lower-level Chinese officials have proven unable or unwilling to speak for Xi, and are hoping the face-to-face summit will enable progress on areas of mutual concern — and, even more critically, a shared understanding of each others’ limitations.
“I know him well, he knows me,” Biden said. “We’ve just got to figure out where the red lines are and what are the most important things to each of us, going into the next two years.”
Biden as president has repeatedly called China to account for its human rights violations against Uyghurs and other ethnic minority people. He also criticized Beijing’s crackdown on democracy activists in Hong Kong, coercive commerce practices, military provocations against Taiwan’s self-rule, and differences over Russia’s prosecution of the war against Ukraine.
Xi’s government has criticised the Biden administration’s posture toward Taiwan — which Beijing looks eventually to unify with the communist mainland — as undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China’s president has also suggested that Washington is trying to suppress Beijing’s growing influence as it attempts to surpass the US as the largest economy in the world.
Biden also met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a pull-aside, which was a result of his efforts to reduce Chinese sanctions against his country.
Sullivan indicated that Biden would also inquire about South Korea and Japan’s leaders if they have any issues they wish him to address with Xi. But, this would not be their primary topic at their trilateral meeting.
“One thing that President Biden certainly wants to do with our closest allies is preview what he intends to do,” Sullivan stated, “and also ask the leaders of (South Korea) and Japan, ‘What would you like me to raise? What do you want me to go in with?’”