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Biden in Asia: Promoting Economic and Security Goals as President Ends Visit South Korea

Seoul, South Korea-President Joe Biden concludes his three-day trip to South Korea on Sunday, showing Hyundai’s pledge to invest at least $ 10 billion in the United States, followed by a nearby military base.

Biden’s visit to Osan Air Base, where thousands of U.S. and South Korean military personnel are monitoring the rapidly evolving North Korean nuclear threat, was his last visit before he arrived in Tokyo late Sunday. It was a stop.

“You are at the forefront of this room,” the president said at the command center on a map of the Korean Peninsula projected on a wall screen.

It was the day when Biden put together two important messages he was trying to project when he first visited Asia as president.

In times of high inflation and simmering dissatisfaction at home, Biden emphasized his global mission to strengthen the US economy by persuading foreign companies like Hyundai to start new businesses in the United States. And he wanted to show solidarity with a nervous Asian ally who lived behind North Korea’s nuclear weapons and became skeptical of US security efforts during President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Last Sunday, Biden disregarded questions about possible provocations by North Korea, such as testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles while traveling, saying “I’m ready to do whatever North Korea does.” rice field.

When asked if there was a message for national leader Kim Jong Un, Biden replied with a truncated response, “Hello. Period.”

It was another sharp departure from Trump, who once said he “fallen in love” with Kim.

Biden’s first appearance on the day, along with Hyundai Motor Chairman Eusiun Chung, highlights the company’s growing investment in the United States, including $ 5.5 billion in Georgia’s electric and battery factories.

“Electric cars are good for our climate goals, but also good for work,” Biden said. “And they are good for business.”

Chung also said his company will spend an additional $ 5 billion on artificial intelligence for self-driving cars and other technologies.

The major US investment by South Korean companies reflected how countries are leveraging long-standing military relations for broader economic partnerships.

Early in the trip, Biden toured a computer chip factory run by South Korean electronics giant Samsung, which plans to build a $ 17 billion production facility in Texas.

Biden prioritized greater economic cooperation with South Korea on Saturday, saying, “This will bring the two countries closer together, cooperate more closely than ever, strengthen the supply chain, protect against shocks and make the economy competitive. I’m waiting.”

The February pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced a deeper rethinking of national security and the economic union. The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to a shortage of computer chips, automobiles and other products. The Biden administration says it can ultimately be resolved by increasing production with credible allies in the country.

Hyundai’s Georgia plant is expected to employ 8,100 workers and produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually, construction will begin early next year and production will begin in 2025 in the unincorporated town of Elaver. Will start near.

However, Hyundai Factory shows that there are trade-offs as Biden pursues his financial challenges.

The president sought to link the production of electric vehicles with automakers with union members and called on Korean companies to hire union workers for US operations during his trip.

However, there was no guarantee that the workers at the Hyundai Georgia factory would unite.

Georgia is a state with “labor rights”. This means that workers may not need to join or pay the union as a condition of employment.

A Hyundai spokesman did not respond to an email asking if the Georgia factory would be integrated. Biden executives, who briefed reporters on the terms of anonymity, encourage investors to accept union labor while encouraging investment and doing “whatever they can” to bring jobs to the United States. He said there was no contradiction in that.

Biden has taken over the visit to the demilitarized zone on the north-south border, where the US President regularly stops during his visit to Seoul. Biden was visiting the DMZ as Vice President and was more interested in seeing the Osan Air Base, said Jake Sullivan, White House’s national security adviser.

While at the base, Biden chatted with the army and his family at the bowling alley, repeating his passion for ice cream twice. First chocolate chips, then vanilla and chocolate.

Biden and South Korean President Yun Suk-yul announced on Saturday that they would consider an expanded joint military exercise to thwart North Korea’s nuclear threat.

Biden and Yun’s move to deter, less than two weeks after taking office, shows that leaders have shifted from their predecessors. Trump considered abolishing the exercise and expressed his love for North Korea’s Kim. And South Korea’s last president, Moon Jae-in, continued to commit to dialogue with Kim until the end of his term, despite repeated rejections by North Korea.

Yun campaigned with a promise to strengthen US-Korea relations. He reiterated at a supper on Saturday that in Biden’s honor, his goal was to move the relationship with North Korea, which had long dominated relations, with the “beyond security” issue.

“President, I try to design a new vision for the alliance with you,” Yun said.

During Biden’s trip to Japan, he will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday to present his vision for negotiating a new trade agreement, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

Shortly after arriving in Tokyo on Sunday night, Biden stopped by the head of a US mission dwelling to attend a room dedication ceremony for US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

Former Democrat Mineta, who served in both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s cabinets, died earlier this month. He was the son of a Japanese immigrant, and he and his family were one of those detained by the US government in a Japanese camp during World War II.

The central theme of this trip is to strengthen the US alliance in the Pacific and counter China’s influence in the region.

But within the administration, there is ongoing debate over whether to raise some of China’s $ 360 billion tariffs during the Trump era. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said that some of the tariffs are more harmful to US businesses and consumers than China.

On Tuesday, Japan will host Biden at the Quad Summit, a strategic alliance between four countries, including Australia and India. After that, the President of the United States returns to Washington.


Associated Press writers Chris Megagerian and Darlene Superville of Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Biden in Asia: Promoting Economic and Security Goals as President Ends Visit South Korea

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