US, South Korean presidents expected to discuss nuclear cooperation: White House

President Joe Biden to hold bilateral talks with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul

2022-05-21 10:22:11


US President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol are expected to discuss nuclear cooperation amid the tension in Korean Peninsula in a meeting on Saturday, according to a White House press briefing.

During the meeting, Biden and Yoon will discuss several issues, including North Korea, it said on Friday.

"I think that you can expect some discussion of both nuclear cooperation as well as other technology-related issues," the press briefing quoted an unnamed senior official as saying.

Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday on his first three-day visit to the East Asian country just 10 days after Yoon was sworn in as the new South Korean new president.

"I think that we're very confident that we will have a discussion about the impact on global economic issues on the global economy of Russia's invasion of Ukraine," said the White House official.

On Friday, Biden visited the Samsung Electronics chip plant in Pyeongtaek -- some 43 miles south of the capital Seoul -- with his South Korean counterpart.

"I think as you all are aware, this is essentially the model of the facility that Samsung has -- is starting to build in Taylor, Texas, that will create 3,000 new good-paying jobs," the official also noted.

The two sides will also discuss the COVID-19 outbreak and the security situation in the region after North Korea tested over dozen missiles this year.

The White House said Washington is ready to help North Korea in the current coronavirus crisis and the desire to find out a diplomatic approach to resolve the current tension in the region.

"We are ready. it is very much our desire that we find ways to have a diplomatic approach with the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). We have made very clear we're prepared to talk to them and with no preconditions, and we're also prepared to take steps to address their domestic challenges, including COVID," said the senior administration official.

Seoul is a critical partner of Washington in Asia-Pacific where over 28,500 US troops are based since the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. The two Koreas technically remain at war with each other as the conflict ended in a truce in 1953 but without a peace treaty.

Japan warned early Saturday that North Korea, which is under severe sanctions by the UN and US over its nuclear program, could launch an inter-continental ballistic missile during Biden's trip.

Responding to Biden's Asia tour, Beijing said any regional cooperation framework “should avoid targeting third parties and undermining their interests.”