Biden holds first call with S. Korea's President-elect, confirms alliance
Following his victory, South Korea's longtime compadres rush to take the President-elect into "iron-clad" arms.
In their first phone call since his election, US President Joe Biden and South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol affirmed their alliance according to a statement by the White House.
South Korea's ruling Democratic Party of Korea's presidential candidate, Lee Jae-Myung, admitted defeat in the presidential election and congratulated his conservative rival, Yoon Suk-Yeol, of the People Power Party.
The concession came after 98% of the votes were counted and showed that the conservative was pulling ahead of his rival. Voter turnout in South Korea's March 9 presidential election held has been estimated at 77.1%.
According to the White House statement, "President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to congratulate him on his election. Together, they affirmed the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance, which is the linchpin for peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific."
Additionally, the statement described how Biden emphasized his nation's commitment to the defense of the ROK and expressed he looks forward to furthering cooperation on challenges like Covid-19 and supply chains. In addition, the two spoke of maintaining close cooperation to address "the threats posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and missile programs."
Yoon's party announced in a statement that Yoon Suk-yeol expressed "respect" for the way the US and its allies have responded to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. "Biden also agreed that South Korea is playing a leading role in this," the statement said.
Japanese PM congratulates Yoon Suk-yeol
On his part, the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida congratulated the South Korean President-elect in a press conference.
The PM expressed that peace, stability, and prosperity require "stable relations" between Japan and South Korea, in light of the global challenges facing the world. "We look forward to the beginning of the leadership of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and intend to work together to improve our relations."
Several disagreements have clouded Japan-South Korean ties, including territorial claims to the Liancourt Rocks, opposing perspectives on Japan's colonial authority over the Korean Peninsula, and other issues.