South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be the second world leader to be welcomed to the White House by President Joe Biden on Friday and the second from Asia, a sign of the importance Washington attaches to the region in countering China’s influence.
In addition to North Korea’s multi-year nuclear problem, the allies will discuss more fully regional security, cooperation in high-tech industries such as microchips, efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and ways to strengthen measures against climate change.
Under pressure at home over his pandemic response, Moon is hoping to strike a deal with Washington on COVID-19 vaccine supplies as the Biden government seeks tougher climate commitments from Seoul.
Washington would also like to see a clear statement from Moon about China’s increasingly assertive behavior in the region. When Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited last month, Biden tried to form a unified front towards …