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Biden to host trilateral summit with Yoon, Kishida at Camp David on Aug. 18: White House

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From right, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden chat at a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]
From right, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden chat at a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

U.S. President Joe Biden will host a trilateral summit with Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Camp David on Aug. 18, the White House confirmed Friday.

The Korean presidential office also officially confirmed the upcoming trilateral summit to be held next month at the U.S. presidential retreat near Washington on Saturday.

“At the summit, the leaders will celebrate a new chapter in their trilateral relationship as they reaffirm their strong bonds of friendship and the ironclad alliances between the United States and Japan, and the United States and the Republic of Korea,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said in a press statement.

Camp David, a secluded rural retreat for U.S. presidents in Catoctin Mountain Park, has often served as a site where American leaders deliberated over difficult decisions or hosted important high-level guests.

Jean-Pierre said the three countries’ leaders will discuss “expanding trilateral cooperation across the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” including to address the continued threat posed by North Korea and to strengthen ties with Asean and the Pacific Islands.

She added that the summit will “advance a shared trilateral vision for addressing global and regional security challenges, promoting a rules-based international order, and bolstering economic prosperity.”

“This summit will be an important opportunity to elevate the cooperation among the three countries that share core values to a new level,” Lee Do-woon, the presidential spokesman, said through a statement.

He said the three leaders will hold in-depth discussions on coordination regarding the North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, along with cooperation on economic security and other major regional and global issues.

The three-way meeting is expected it to be conducted in the form of a “retreat,” enabling “intimate dialogue without separation between the leaders of the three countries,” according to Yoon’s office.

The meeting being hosted at Camp David to show the United States’ commitment towards trilateral cooperation and the “special friendship” with the leaders of Korea and Japan, it added.

This marks the first time the three countries’ leaders will be meeting separately for the purpose of holding a trilateral summit, as they previously met on the sidelines of other multilateral events, usually restricted in time.

This will also mark the first visit to Camp David by foreign leaders since 2015.

John Kirby, White House National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters in a telephonic press briefing that the three leaders “will celebrate a new chapter in their trilateral relationship, and they will reaffirm strong bonds of friendship.”

During a brief meeting between the three leaders on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima on May 21, Biden invited Yoon and Kishida for another trilateral summit in Washington as early as this summer.

The Camp David complex was first completed in 1938, and then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it the presidential retreat, initially naming the property “Shangri-La.” It was later renamed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as “Camp David” after his grandson and has become a place for presidents and their families to get away from Washington.

Then-Korean President Lee Myung-bak held a bilateral summit meeting with President George W. Bush at Camp David in April 2008 during his visit to the United States.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]