South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (not pictured) at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on March 16, 2023.
Kiyoshi Ota | Pool | AFP | Getty Images
Congressional leaders on Thursday invited South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to address a joint meeting of Congress on April 27.
In a press release, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., announced that they had invited Yoon “in honor of the 70th anniversary of the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea.”
“The relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea is one of great importance and significance,” the congressional leaders wrote in the invitation.
“Your leadership has been instrumental in strengthening this partnership, and we believe the Joint Meeting would provide an ideal platform for you to share your vision for the future of the U.S.- Korea alliance and to highlight the progress that has been made in recent years,” they added.
The move comes as the U.S. continues efforts to strengthen its relationships with parts of Asia amid worsening tensions with China.
A bipartisan delegation arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, a day after McCarthy defied Beijing by meeting with the president of the self-ruling island. It was the delegation’s third overseas trip following visits to U.S. allies in Japan and South Korea.
Earlier this week, the U.S. and South Korea, along with Japan, also conducted joint military training, including anti-submarine drills designed to improve the nations’ ability to respond to underwater threats, such as North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson.
The White House announced last month that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, for a visit on April 26, which will include a state dinner.
Biden had previously met with Yoon in November at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia. During that trip, Biden and his South Korean and Japanese counterparts vowed to stand together in coordinating a response to North Korea’s nuclear programs.