Biden Aims to Nudge Japan and South Korea Toward Greater Unity At Camp David Meetings

Foreign Affairs

Washington: At the upcoming Camp David presidential retreat August 18, American President Joe Biden aims to further tighten security and economic ties between Japan and South Korea, two nations that have struggled to stay on speaking terms, as he welcomes their leaders.

Historically frosty relations between South Korea and Japan have rapidly thawed over the last year as they share concerns about China’s assertiveness in the Pacific and North Korea’s persistent nuclear threats. Biden is now looking to use the summit in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains to urge South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to turn the page on their countries’ difficult shared history.

The Japan-South Korea relationship is a delicate one because of differing views of World War II history and Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula. Past efforts to tighten security cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo have progressed with fits and starts.

But the White House hopes the current rapprochement offers an opportunity for a historic shift in the relationship.

At Camp David, Biden aims to nudge Japan and South Korea toward greater unity in complicated Pacific.

President Joe Biden is set to welcome leaders of Japan and South Korea for the first summit of his presidency. Biden plans to use Camp David meetings to urge the leaders to turn the page on their difficult history and cement closer ties.