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Biden visits Asia as a sign of close ties with countries in the region

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Joe Biden hopes to use his visit to Asia to confirm his belief that long-standing friendships can afford to become even friendlier — and pay dividends.

He opened the trip in South Korea on Friday and will end in Japan next week at a time when world events are resetting the foundations of the global order.

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains and exposed the fragilities of a trade system focused primarily on low prices for consumers and high profits for corporations.

Then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ushered in a return to Cold War-era intrigues. 

The U.S. and other wealthy democracies — including Japan and South Korea — banded together to help Ukraine and punish Russia, but not all countries were ready to side with the alliance.

China, India and others have aimed to stay cordial with Russia without crossing the sanctions.

The uncertainty leaves Biden determined to show that America’s ultimate power rests with its ability to make friends and influence people rather than the raw capacity of its military and economy.

A look at some of the key issues and themes on the table for Biden’s visit:

Relations between Japan and South Korea have been at their worst in decades because of disputes over wartime history and trade.

These are rifts that the countries’ two new leaders appear willing to heal, with Biden as a possible interlocutor who could help bring them closer together.

The Associated Press

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at

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