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Yoon to make a state visit to the United States on April 26: White House

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President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and U.S. President Joe Biden shake hands after bilateral talks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Nov. 13, 2022, on the sidelines of Asean meetings. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]
President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and U.S. President Joe Biden shake hands after bilateral talks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Nov. 13, 2022, on the sidelines of Asean meetings. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will make a state visit to the United States in late April for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, announced the White House and presidential office.

Biden and U.S. first lady Jill Biden will host Yoon and first Lady Kim Keon Hee for a state visit, which will include a state dinner, on April 26, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Tuesday.

“The upcoming visit celebrates the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK alliance, which is critical to advancing peace, stability, and prosperity for our two countries, the Indo-Pacific, and around the world,” said Jean-Pierre, referring to the acronym for for Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

Yoon will become Biden’s second state guest.

Last December, French President Emmanuel Macron became Biden’s first state guest since he took office in January 2021, recognizing France as the United States’ oldest ally.

A state visit is the highest-level visit by a foreign leader, typically involving more pomp and ceremony, including an official welcoming event with an honor guard and a state dinner.

Yoon and Biden will “highlight the importance and enduring strength of the ironclad U.S.-ROK alliance as well as the United States’ unwavering commitment to the ROK,” said Jean-Pierre.

They will also “discuss our shared resolve to deepen and broaden our political, economic, security, and people-to-people ties,” she added.

The Korean presidential office also confirmed early Wednesday that Yoon will make a state visit to the United States upon the invitation of Biden “to mark the historic year of the 70th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance.”

The two presidents are expected to “take part in various schedules together, including a summit meeting and a state dinner scheduled for April 26 to celebrate the achievements of the ROK-US alliance accumulated over the past 70 years and hold in-depth discussions on the direction of the future development of the alliance,” said senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye said in a statement.

Following up on Yoon and Biden’s summits held in May and November last year, the two leaders are expected to come up with “concrete and practical measures” for cooperation in various areas, including combined defense posture and extended deterrence, advanced technologies and economic security, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and regional and international challenges.

“President Yoon’s state visit to the United States will serve as a historic milestone for the Korea-U.S. alliance, considered one of the most successful alliances, to more actively evolve in preparation for the rapidly changing international situation and future uncertainties,” said Kim.

She said that it is expected the two sides will work to realize a “Korea-U.S. alliance in action” to protect the lives, safety and core values of the people of both countries and advance towards the future.

The announcement came during Korean National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han’s five-day trip to Washington this week.

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