South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden will meet each other for the first time at the White House in Washington on Friday afternoon (local time). President Moon is reportedly expecting achievements in the partnership establishment for COVID-19 vaccines and measures to address North Korea’s nuclear issues by leveraging the so-called BBC industries – bio, battery, and chip – that South Korean companies are expert at. President Biden is expected to request South Korea to expand its roles as a responsible ally, such as participation in the U.S.-led global supply chain reorganization and cooperation with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India to keep China in check. The upcoming summit will present an opportunity to gauge the bilateral relationship, which is closely linked with economic and security issues, for the next four years under the Biden administration.
“President Moon will visit Washington from Wednesday to Saturday upon the invitation of President Biden,” Jung Man-ho, presidential secretary for communication, said at a Cheong Wa Dae briefing on Wednesday. President Moon will be the second foreign leader to meet President Biden at the White House since his inauguration in January this year following his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on April 16.
Similar to the U.S.-Japan summit in April, the upcoming summit will comprise of a one-on-one meeting during luncheon followed by a small group meeting and an expanded meeting before announcing agreed statements at a joint press conference. President Moon will also meet Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and visit SK Innovation’s battery plant in Atlanta during his five-day visit.
“The U.S. is not safe until the global pandemic is under control,” President Biden said on Monday (local time), four days before the summit, adding that 20 million doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines will be provided to foreign countries by the end of next month. South Korea may be included in the priority group to receive vaccines as the U.S. now promised to share 80 million doses with other countries.
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