U.S. President Joe Biden headed, Sunday, to Japan for the second leg of a trip across Asia after holding a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul.
The trip aims to reinforce US leadership in the face of a rising China and dangerously unpredictable, nuclear-armed North Korea.
At a joint press conference with Yoon, Biden cited a global “competition between democracies and autocracies” and noted that the Asia-Pacific region is a key battleground.
“We talked in some length about the need for us to make this larger than just the United States, Japan, and Korea, but the entire Pacific and the South Pacific and Indo-Pacific. I think this is an opportunity,” Biden said.
As officials from both countries warned that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could raise tensions with a nuclear weapon test while Biden is in the region, the U.S. president said the democratic allies must deepen ties.
The Bill, passed earlier by Congress, was flown to Seoul so that Biden could make it law without having to wait for his return to Washington late next Tuesday.
In Japan, the American President will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Emperor Naruhito on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Quad summit, bringing together the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States. He will also unveil a major new US initiative for regional trade, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.