North Korea to Dominate Agenda in Biden’s First Meeting with South Korea’s Moon

Finding a diplomatic approach to achieving denuclearization of North Korea but also of the Korean Peninsula is expected to be near the top of the agenda during the first meeting of President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Friday, The Hill writes.

The meeting comes almost a month after Biden administration completed the review of U.S. policy towards North Korea, whose illicit nuclear weapons program causes a serious concern for the U.S. and international community.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the new policy signals a departure from previous administrations by pursuing a calibrated, practical approach that will not focus on achieving a grand bargain, nor will it rely on strategic patience but will be open to and will explore diplomacy with North Korea to make practical progress that increases the security of the US.

South Korea and Japan are key U.S. allies and security partners on a host of issues, including confronting China’s ambitions in the region. When it comes to China, Moon and Biden will likely focus on its ability to directly sway North Korea’s policy. 

This may also be South Korean President final visit to the United States before his term ends next year and his last chance to revive dormant nuclear talks and build upon the agreement signed by former President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un in Singapore in 2018, but also other agreements made by previous administrations.

The Singapore document established that U.S. – North Korea relations should aim for achieving peace and prosperity, building a lasting and stable peace on the Korean peninsula, complete denuclearization of the DPRK and for addressing unrecovered remains of prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

Biden and Moon are also expected to have extensive conversations on global health security, combating climate change and business opportunities.

During the meeting, Moon will also attend a ceremony awarding the Medal of Honor retired Army Colonel Ralph Puckett Jr for conspicuous gallantry during the Korean War, particularly for leadership actions under enemy fire in November 1950.

It is the first time a foreign leader has ever participated in the awarding of a Medal of Honor.

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