Yoon to hold bilateral summit with Biden, S. Korea-U.S.-Japan summit in Southeast Asia

SEOUL– President Yoon Suk-yeol will hold a bilateral summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and a separate trilateral summit also involving Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of upcoming regional gatherings in Southeast Asia, his office said.

Yoon is set to leave Friday on a six-day trip that will take him first to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for regional summits involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and then to Bali, Indonesia, for a summit of the Group of 20.

“There are various important bilateral meetings at such multilateral conferences,” Yoon told reporters as he arrived for work. “A South Korea-U.S.-Japan summit has been fixed, and several other bilateral meetings are either fixed or under discussion.”

Yoon made no mention of a bilateral summit with Biden, but a presidential official later told reporters such a meeting has also been fixed. No other details were provided.

Yoon said he thought hard about whether he should attend the summits at a time when the nation is grieving over the deadly Itaewon crowd crush but decided to go ahead because these are important events that impact people’s economic activities and interests.

“As you all know, ASEAN is a coalition of Southeast Asian nations, and it’s a region that is drawing attention as many countries, including many economic powers, have accepted ASEAN’s centrality,” he said, noting 50 percent of the world’s cargo travels through the region, while tens of thousands of South Korean businesses invest there.

“As president of our country, I decided that it was inevitable for me to attend the meetings in order to soundly support our businesses’ economic activities.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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