WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden is set to travel to Asia this week to reaffirm vital security alliances with South Korea and Japan and participate in the second in-person Quad Summit to reaffirm commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Speaking at a press briefing ahead of Biden's visit, National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan said this is his first trip as President to the Indo-Pacific region, which he will use to assert American leadership in this vital region of the world.
"President Biden has rallied the free world in defense of Ukraine and opposition to Russian aggression. He remains focused on ensuring that our efforts in those missions are successful. But he also intends to seize this moment -- this pivotal moment -- to assert bold and confident American leadership in another vital region of the world: the Indo-Pacific," said Sullivan. In South Korea, Biden will meet with the newly elected Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who campaigned on the platform of strengthening the US-ROK alliance and on improving relations between the ROK and Japan.
He will engage with technology and manufacturing leaders in Korea and consult on the challenge posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. In Japan, US President will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his team. "And we believe that the US-Japan alliance, at this moment, under these two leaders, is at an all-time high. This visit can take us even higher," said Sullivan. The two leaders will consult on the broad and deep economic relationship between our two countries, as well as on a range of regional and global security issues. "We'll also cover North Korea as well as several other security issues both in the Indo-Pacific and more broadly around the world."
In Japan, Biden will also participate in the second in-person Quad Summit, following the summit he hosted here in Washington last September. He will do this alongside the Prime Ministers of Japan, India, and Australia. "And we believe that this summit will demonstrate, both in substance and in vision, that democracies can deliver and that these four nations working together will defend and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific," he said.
While he's in Tokyo, US President will also launch a new economic initiative for the region: the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. "IPEF," as we affectionately call it, is a 21st-century economic arrangement, a new model designed to tackle new economic challenges -- from setting the rules of the digital economy to ensuring secure and resilient supply chains, to managing the energy transition, to investing in clean, modern, high-standards infrastructure.