Biden, Japan, South Korea vow unified response to North Korea

“We face real challenges, but our nations are more connected than ever, more prepared than ever to face them,” Biden said. “.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Sunday vowed a unified, coordinated response to the country’s threatening nuclear and ballistic missile programs. North Korea, with Biden claiming that the trilateral partnership is “even more important than ever” as North Korea ramps up its provocations.

Biden met privately with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol before the three sat down together on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia.

The US president began by sending condolences over the violent crowd during the Halloween festival in Seoul that left more than 150 people dead, and said that the US was very sad for South Korea. The meeting focused heavily on recent escalations by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, although Biden said the three leaders would also discuss strengthening supply chains and preserving peace across the Taiwan Strait. Loan, and at the same time based on the support of other countries for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

Biden also planned to seek input from Kishida and Yoon on managing China’s assertive posture in the Pacific region ahead of his face-to-face meeting with President Xi. Jar.

RELATED: Biden meets China’s Xi in first face-to-face meeting since becoming president

“We face real challenges, but our nations are more connected than ever, more prepared than ever to face them,” Biden said. “. “Therefore, I look forward to deepening the cooperative relationship between our three countries.”

Both Yoon and Kishida discussed the ongoing aggressive actions of North Korea, which has fired dozens of missiles in recent weeks. Launches including an intercontinental ballistic missile 10 days ago triggered an evacuation warning in northern Japan, as allies warned of the potential danger of the isolated nation conducting the attack. seventh nuclear test in the coming weeks.

Referring to the increase in crowds that occurred in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul, Yoon said, through an interpreter: “At a time when South Koreans are deeply grieving, North Korea has stepped up its provocative actions. expose the truth of the Kim Jong Un regime. trend.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Saturday that Biden will use the meetings to strengthen the three countries’ joint response to the threats posed by North Korea, officially known as North Korea. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“What we really want to see is increased trilateral security cooperation, where the three countries will come together,” he said. “That’s absolutely true for the DPRK because of the common threats and challenges we all face, but it’s also true, more broadly, about our ability to cooperate to strengthen peace and general stability in the region.”

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have spiked in recent months as North Korea continues to display weapons and the United States and South Korea step up joint defense exercises. Earlier this month, the South Korean military said two B-1B bombers trained with four American F-16 fighters and four South Korean F-35 jets on the final day of the war. joint air exercise “Vigilant Storm”. This is the first time since December 2017 that bombers have been deployed to the Korean Peninsula. The exercise involved a total of about 240 fighters, including advanced F-35 fighters from both countries.

North Korea responded with a show of force of its own, sending large numbers of fighter jets into its territory.

The Biden administration says it has repeatedly submitted requests for talks with North Korea without preconditions on limiting the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but Kim Jong Un’s government has no reply.

Biden said he plans to press Xi to use China’s influence on North Korea to limit the country’s aggressive behavior, as part of a scheduled meeting between the leaders. on the sidelines of the Group of 20 is gathering in Bali, Indonesia.

China “has an interest in playing a constructive role in containing North Korea’s worst trends,” Sullivan said on Saturday. “Of course, it’s up to them whether they choose to do so.”

Biden told reporters on Sunday that he “always has candid discussions” with Xi Jinping and that has prevented either of them from “miscalculating” his intentions. Their meeting comes weeks after Xi solidified his grip on China’s political system with the conclusion of the Communist Party Congress in Beijing, giving him a third term in office. break the rules.

“His circumstances have changed, obviously at home,” Biden said of Xi. Biden also confirmed his position, saying that after the Democrats retained control of the Senate in the midterm elections, “I knew I was going to get stronger.”

Highlighting that point, several heads of state approached Biden in Cambodia to tell him they had been closely monitoring the US midterm campaigns, telling the president that the results were a testament to his strength. strength of American democracy, Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One to Indonesia. on Sunday night.

Monday’s meeting will be the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders since Biden was elected. US officials have expressed frustration that lower-level Chinese officials have shown they are unable or unwilling to speak on behalf of Xi, and are hoping the face-to-face summit will produce progress in areas of mutual interest – and even more importantly, a shared understanding of each other’s limitations.

“I know him well, he knows me,” Biden said. “We just need to figure out where the red lines are and what’s most important to each of us, over the next two years.”

As president, Biden has repeatedly blamed China for human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities, Beijing’s crackdowns on political activists, democratic activities in Hong Kong, coercive commercial activities, military provocations against self-ruled Taiwan, and disagreements over Russia’s prosecution of its government. war against Ukraine.

Xi’s government has criticized the Biden administration’s attitude towards Taiwan – which Beijing looks to eventually unify with the communist mainland – as undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese president also suggested that Washington wants to contain Beijing’s growing influence as it tries to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy.

Biden also spoke briefly with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who sought to meet Mr. Xi privately this week in an effort to ease China’s sanctions on his country. Biden, Japan, South Korea vow unified response to North Korea

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