Biden hosts Camp David summit with leaders of Japan and South Korea

August 19, 2023

President Joe Biden continues to be hit by negative poll numbers, with a recent Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey showing just 36% of Americans approve of his economic record.

Yet in what may be an attempt at shifting focus to foreign policy, Biden pulled the trigger this week on an important summit at Camp David.

First Camp David summit of Biden's presidency

According to Politico, the president hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday.

"This is the first summit I’ve hosted at Camp David, and I can think of no more fitting location to symbolize our new era of cooperation," Biden was quoted as saying at a joint press conference.

He also lauded the "bravery" shown by Kishida and Yoon in agreeing to meet despite the long history of tensions between their respective nations.

However, Japan and South Korea both have a shared interest in countering regional aggression from China and North Korea.

Three nations said to be "unwavering in our unity"

The president later reiterated that message in a tweet, saying, "Today we began the next era of our cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea at Camp David, a place defined by new possibilities."

Biden added that the three nations "will continue to seize those possibilities together" while remaining "unwavering in our unity" and "unmatched in our resolve."

He also tweeted, "The Japan-Korea-U.S. Camp David Summit isn't about any one challenge or one country – it's about taking affirmative steps to ensure a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific for years to come."

The looming threat from North Korea

However, Politico noted that Friday's meeting was not well received by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

"Attempts to cobble together various exclusionary groupings and bring bloc confrontation and military blocs into the Asia-Pacific are not going to get support and will only be met with vigilance and opposition from regional countries," Wang was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, The Hill cited claims from South Korea’s intelligence service that North Korea is planning to launch a spy satellite as well as conduct another round of ballistic missile tests.

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