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Leaders of S. Korea, US, and Japan have summit

Posted August. 21, 2023 09:00,   

Updated August. 21, 2023 09:00


“This has been a great, great meeting,” said U.S. President Joe Biden.

The leaders of South Korea, the U.S., and Japan showed off their close relationships at a trilateral summit held at Camp David in Maryland on Friday (local time). “If I seem like I’m happy, it’s because I am,” President Biden said at the summit at a press conference held at Camp David, repeatedly saying that it was a great meeting.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was taken on a tour by President Biden to see the presidential residence and Aspen Lodge at Camp David. The two leaders looked at various places in the lodge and talked about their fathers while standing on a terrace overlooking Camp David. “We are similar to each other in a way that we both had fathers who were kind but also strict and had a big impact on their children,” said President Biden to President Yoon on the terrace.

“President Biden talked a lot about his father,” said President Yoon to the reporters on Code One, the flight returning to South Korea. “He is a very kind person.”

The U.S. president greeted the South Korean president over the phone by saying, “Hello, my friend,” upon his arrival in the U.S. on Thursday. “President Yoon is the only foreign leader who was invited on a state visit to the U.s. and on a tour to Camp David. He was also the first leader to be taken on a tour to Aspen Lodge, which President Biden uses as his residence on holiday,” the South Korean presidential office emphasized.

When President Yoon arrived at Camp David, a Korean-American U.S. Marine captain drove a golf cart for him. While the captain, whose mother is a Korean, didn’t speak much Korean as he spent most of his childhood in the U.S., he said it was his honor in Korea, which he practiced, to President Yoon. According to the presidential office on Sunday, selecting a Korean-American marine was the U.S.’s special consideration to welcome and treat President Yoon respectfully.

It was reported that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said hello and thank you in Korean when he and President Yoon met and parted, respectively. The two leaders met again after a previous summit about a month ago.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com