Biden goes to South Korea and Japan

The attention of the U.S. administration to the Indo-Pacific region indicates that it is still a priority for Washington.

The U.S. President Joe Biden will embark on his first trip to Asia since taking office on Thursday, during which he will visit South Korea and Japan.

In Seoul, Biden will meet with newly inaugurated South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol amid Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests and the outbreak of coronavirus in North Korea.

In Tokyo, Biden will take part in the Quadrilateral Dialogue summit together with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The fourth participant in the meeting will be Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison or his rival Anthony Albanese, depending on which of them wins the election on Saturday.

The Biden administration’s close attention to the Indo-Pacific region is a clear signal that this region is still a priority for it, and China is the most serious strategic challenge, even in a situation where it has to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan described the simultaneous creation of the transatlantic and trans-Pacific coalitions as “integration” and “symbiosis” in the strategy.

“President Biden’s unique ability to stitch these two directions together, I think, will become a hallmark of his foreign policy,” Sullivan told reporters on Thursday.

Although the regional coalition in support of Ukraine is not as impressive as the European one, Biden will encourage partners to be even more determined in order to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin.