US, SKorea open to expanded military drills to deter North

Joe Biden,Yoon Suk Yeol
Posted at 9:58 AM, May 21, 2022

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said after their meeting that they would consider expanded joint military exercises to deter the nuclear threat from North Korea.

The announcement Saturday during Biden's visit to Seoul reflects a shift in direction from former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump had considered scrapping the exercises and had expressed affection for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The announcement may also put to rest concerns in Seoul that Washington would revert to the Obama administration's policy of “strategic patience,” in which it largely looked the other way while North Korea expanded its nuclear arsenal.

Biden added that one of his top foreign policy priorities is revitalizing the US and South Korea relationship.

In his toast at a state dinner in Seoul Saturday, Biden said, “may the alliance between our two great nations continue to flourish through all the decades ahead."

Yoon said he would "draw and design a new future vision" of their alliance.

This was Biden's first trip to Asia as commander in chief.