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Competition for Washington’s attention increases before its comeback

Competition for Washington’s attention increases before its comeback

Posted December. 11, 2020 07:38,   

Updated December. 11, 2020 07:38


Even amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s relentless tantrums and interventions, the era of Joe Biden is already coming to a reality. Taking office around 40 days later, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to take a completely different path than his predecessor did and he seems determined to keep his words for sure. Many countries around the globe keep a close eye on how the new president of one of the most influential powerhouses runs diplomatic security policy and in what way such an upcoming change affects them.


“America is back” best represents Biden’s direction in diplomatic and security policy. He reiterates his determination to “lead” the democratic camp, seemingly intent on engaging deeply in international affairs in a way that differentiates him from President Trump.

Time will tell what the next U.S. president starts with right after arriving at the Oval Office. The rest of the world is hell-bent on finding its own ways to get Biden’s attention or grab the upper hand in its relations with the United States under Biden’s leadership.

The way Israel draws attention is somewhat peculiar. There is widespread speculation that Israel got closely involved in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Biden considers mending the U.S.-Iran relations by restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) from which President Trump withdrew.

Many countries are sending their message to Biden according to their own strategies. Such aggressiveness comes from the fact that they are well-aware that Biden can only spend a limited amount of time on diplomatic and security matters in his early presidential years. That is because Biden may put domestic issues including the fight against COVID-19 first and foremost, meaning that diplomatic and security policy will be left on the backburner for some time once they are pushed to the back of his mind. It is the time that Seoul should step forward to expedite the restoration of the South Korea-U.S. alliance that has become weaker since President Trump’s inauguration.

Taeck-Dong Chang will71@donga.com