Yoon, Biden to hold summit in Seoul on May 21
Biden is expected to visit Seoul from May 20 to 22, according to Yoon's transition team officials Thursday, in his first trip to Korea since taking office in January last year.
Yoon will be inaugurated as Korea's new president on May 10. The summit, which will take place 11 days later, will be an unprecedentedly quick first meeting with an American president for a new Korean leader.
Biden's visit to Seoul comes ahead of a trip to Tokyo from May 22 to 24 for a meeting of leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad. Quad is a U.S.-led cooperative forum with India, Japan and Australia.
The White House on Tuesday announced that Biden will visit Korea and Japan from May 20 to 24 "to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and people." He will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his time in the country.
It added in a statement that Biden's trip will advance his administration's "rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to U.S. treaty alliances with the Republic of Korea and Japan."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added in a statement, "The leaders will discuss opportunities to deepen our vital security relationships, enhance economic ties, and expand our close cooperation to deliver practical results."
It is rare for a U.S. president to stop by Korea first when making an East Asia tour as they usually fly to Japan first.
Yoon "welcomed" Biden's visit to Seoul and said he will "prepare for a historical turning point to further develop the comprehensive strategic alliance between the two countries," said Bae Hyun-jin, Yoon's spokesperson, in a statement Thursday.
BY SARAH KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]