President Biden will spend his first-ever Camp David summit working to form a new trilateral alliance between the US, Japan, and South Korea as part of his strategy against China in the Asia Pacific.
Biden has invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to meet him at Camp David this Friday, which will mark the first trilateral summit between the three nations outside of other international events.
The US has been encouraging Japan and South Korea to reconcile their relationship, which has been strained for many decades mainly due to Imperial Japan’s treatment of Koreans during the Japanese occupation. The US views both countries as key players in the buildup aimed at China in the region.
At Camp David, the three nations are expected to announce joint military exercises, a crisis hotline, and plans to hold an annual trilateral summit. According to Nikkei Asia, they are also expected to discuss progress made on a plan to share intelligence on North Korean missile launches as tensions have been soaring on the Korean Peninsula.
“The leaders will celebrate a new chapter in their trilateral relationship as they reaffirm their strong bonds of friendship and the ironclad alliances between the United States and Japan, and the United States and the Republic of Korea,” a White House spokesperson told Nikkei.
The summit comes after the US docked a nuclear-armed submarine in South Korea for the first time in 1981, a major provocation aimed at North Korea but also likely meant as a message to China. The US and South Korea have been engaged in tit-for-tat escalations with North Korea, and there’s no sign tensions will ease anytime soon.