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U.S., ROK leaders reaffirm close coordination to denuclearize North Korea

The Sunday editions of all national papers reported on a summit meeting held in Washington on Friday between President Biden and his South Korean counterpart Moon, saying that they agreed to step up bilateral cooperation to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea. President Biden told the press afterward that he will not meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un unless his regime is committed to holding concrete discussions on denuclearization and presenting an outline on how to achieve it. President Moon said Seoul will seek dialogue with the defiant northern neighbor in coordination with the Biden administration’s “calibrated and practical approach.”

As the summit joint statement referred to the Quad framework and the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Nikkei said the Biden administration was successful in drawing South Korea’s support for building a coalition against Beijing. Asahi wrote that the two leaders were eager to highlight the restoration of a viable alliance relationship, adding, however, that President Moon stopped short of making a firm commitment to join an anti-China coalition. Since the South Korean leader was apparently not as upfront as Prime Minister Suga when talking about confronting the China threat during his meeting with President Biden, Sankei said Washington apparently sees Seoul as a “half-baked ally.” Mainichi focused on their agreement to seek DPRK denuclearization, conjecturing that as North Korea is not very high on the agenda for the Biden administration, South Korea was desperate to secure Washington’s commitment to resume dialogue with the Kim regime for denuclearization so that President Moon can leave a diplomatic legacy on the North Korean front when he steps down a year from now.

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