U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's travel to Japan and South Korea later this month - possibly from March 14th throught the 18th - will mark the first international trip by Biden Cabinet officials since President Joe Biden's inauguration.
Let's talk about it.
I have live with me Evans Revere, senior director with the Albright Stonebridge Group. Mr. Revere was with the U.S. State Department for decades including as the Principal Assistant Secretary of State of East Asia.
Mr. Revere, thank you for joining us.
Is there something we could read into the fact that this part of the world has been chosen as the destination of the Secretary of State and Defense Secretary's first overseas travel?
During their trip, Blinken and Austin are expected to delve deeper into the issues that they have already touched upon in phone calls with their counterparts from the two countries which, of course, includes strengthening alliances and the push to denuclearize North Korea.
On top of Washington's latest calls for the improvement of Seoul, Tokyo ties and highlighting the importance of their trilateral security cooperation, we know that Secretary Blinken had also been keen on this very issue even during the Obama administration. How do we expect these two U.S. officials to push Seoul, Tokyo to better their strained relations?
Their meeting in Seoul will be the very first for the security and defense officials from the Moon and Biden administrations. Do you expect the two sides to get off on the right foot in terms of dealing with North Korea? What are your recommendations for both those in the Moon administration and the Biden administration?
Will the American State and Defense Secretaries have proposals for Seoul with regards to Washington's Indo-Pacific strategy? Or the Quad?
Evans Revere, an Asia Expert specializing in the Koreas and Japan many thanks for sharing your insights. We appreciate it.