Economy and security are expected to take center stage when U.S. President Joe Biden makes his first trip to South Korea as president later this week.
Although not officially confirmed, President Biden's three-day itinerary in South Korea reflects just that as it's expected to include a visit to the Samsung Electronics' chip plant in Pyeongtaek and a possible tour of the heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.
The Biden administration has been bolstering cooperation with its key allies on semiconductors in
efforts to take a lead against China and the DMZ has been frequently visited by former U.S. Commander-in-Chiefs from Ronald Reagan in 1983 to Donald Trump in 2019 where he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un along with former South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
All of this is aside from the first one-on-one between the newly-inaugurated South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and the visiting U.S. President on Saturday at the new presidential office in Yongsan.
Although the final details of the summit are yet to be finalized, three main agenda are expected to top the summit table - The allies' coordinated response against North Korea's provocations especially in the wake of the regime's series of missile launches and signs of a possible seventh nuclear test; ways to up contribution on global challenges and issues surrounding economic security.
"I will discuss with U.S. President Biden, who's visiting South Korea this week, ways to strengthen cooperation on the global supply chain, through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. And discussions will include various economic security issues, such as the digital economy and carbon neutrality, not just ways to stabilize the supply chain."
The one-on-one will be followed by a banquet which will likely be joined by the heads of
South Korea's four major conglomerates - Samsung Electronics, SK Group, Hyundai Motor Group and LG Group.
There are also reports that the U.S. president has a meeting scheduled with former President Moon Jae-in during which Mr. Biden could offer Mr. Moon to serve as a special envoy to North Korea.
South Korea's top office officials, on Tuesday, denied any knowledge of this meeting.
"The upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit comes only 11 days since President Yoon took office, which is to be held in the shortest time since the inauguration of a new South Korean government.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News."