U.S. President Joe Biden is due in Seoul late Friday afternoon for his very first meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Mr. Biden's first trip to South Korea and the Indo-Pacific as president will serve as an opportunity to reaffirm and reinforce Washington's vital security alliance with Seoul and deepen their vibrant economic partnership.
The U.S. president will begin his three-day official visit here with a tour of the Samsung Electronics semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek - where he may be joined by President Yoon as both leaders place great emphasis on cooperation in economic security.
Mr. Biden will also see South Korean and American troops standing shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of their collective security and consult on the challenges posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
South Korea and the U.S. have been detecting signs of a North Korean nuclear test, or a long-range missile test, or both, before, during or after Biden's trip to South Korea and Japan.
"We are preparing for all contingencies. (?߷?) And we are prepared, obviously, to make both short and longer term adjustments to our military posture as necessary to ensure that we are providing both defense and deterrence to our allies in the region."
The 90-minute long Yoon, Biden bilateral is slated for Saturday afternoon which will be followed by a joint news conference and a state dinner hosted by the South Korean president.
Contrary to earlier speculations that Mr. Biden may visit the DMZ and meet with former South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the White House denied the possibilities.
On the eve of the U.S. leader's visit, Yoon's National Security Council convened its first weekly meeting and analyzed signs of North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear test.
President Yoon's National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han also held a virtual introductory meeting with his Japanese counterpart Takeo Akiba to discuss bilateral and trilateral security cooperation with the U.S. on regional and global issues.
"During the trip, President Biden will also likely focus on the need to improve ties between Seoul and Tokyo to strengthen trilateral cooperation with Washington, something on which President Yoon will likely share his own thoughts as well. Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News."