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Yoon, Biden begin first summit at Yongsan presidential office


President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) greets US President Joe Biden at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) greets US President Joe Biden at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Yonhap)

A 90-minute summit between the US and South Korea began as US President Joe Biden arrived at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul around 1:30 pm on Saturday.

When the vehicle arrived in front of the main gate of the presidential office building, President Yoon Suk-yeol greeted Biden in person. The two leaders shook hands at the entrance and entered the building side by side.

The Korea-US summit was held on the fifth floor of the presidential office, and included a talk with a small number of aides, a private conversation between the two leaders and an expanded summit.

The small-group meeting began around 1:35 pm, with the talks focusing on dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, economic security and regional cooperation.

From the Korean side, national security adviser Kim Sung-han and Foreign Minister Park Jin attended the meeting. On the American side, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Edgard Kagan, senior director for East Asia and Oceania at the National Security Council, were present. 

Following the meeting, the two leaders had a private conversation for about 5-10 minutes with only an interpreter from around 2 p.m. Afterward, they are scheduled to hold extended talks at the reception room on the same floor in the presence of officials from the presidential office and ministries. 

The extended talks will be attended by 11 officials from the Korean side, including Prime Minister Choo Kyung-ho, Foreign Minister Park Jin, Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang, National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han, Ambassador Cho Tae-yong, a nominee for Seoul’s ambassador to the US and senior economic secretary Choi Sang-mok. 

Eleven people from the US were also present, including Charge d’Affaires ad interim Christopher Del Corso at the US Embassy in Seoul, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen Dillon and White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield.

After the 90-minute summit is over, the two leaders will hold a joint press conference in the auditorium on the first basement floor.

The two leaders met for the first time the day before, when they jointly visited Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, as part of President Biden’s first visit to Korea. In a joint speech at the meeting, the two leaders emphasized cooperation on advanced technologies such as semiconductors and global supply chain issues.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)





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