WH national security adviser previews Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan

At the White House press briefing on Wednesday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan outlined President Biden’s first trip to Asia since taking office.

Video transcript

JAKE SULLIVAN: This week, the president turns his attention to Northeast Asia. And on this trip, he'll have the opportunity to reaffirm and reinforce two vital security alliances, to deepen two vibrant economic partnerships, to work with two fellow democracies to shape the rules of the road for the 21st century, and to thank his allies in Korea and Japan for their remarkable and, in some ways, unexpected contributions to the effort to support Ukraine and to hold Russia accountable.

In Korea, President Biden will meet with the newly inaugurated-- excuse me-- the newly inaugurated Korean president, President Yoon, who campaigned on the platform of strengthening the US-ROK alliance and on improving relations between the ROK and Japan. President Biden will engage with technology and manufacturing leaders in Korea who are mobilizing billions of dollars in investment here in the United States to create thousands of good paying American jobs.

He will see American and Korean troops standing shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of our collective security, and consult on the challenge posed by the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs. And he will highlight the truly global nature of the US-ROK alliance from climate and energy and technology to economic growth and investment.

In Japan, President Biden will meet with Prime Minister Kishida and his team, and we believe that the US-Japan alliance at this moment under these two leaders is at an all-time high. This visit can take us even higher. The two leaders will consult on the Broad and deep economic relationship between our two countries, as well as on a range of regional and global security issues. We'll also cover the DPRK, as well as a number of other security issues, both in the Indo-Pacific and more broadly around the world. The US-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, and Japan's contributions as a security partner are rightly growing as the regional security picture becomes more challenging and dynamic.

President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will also be able to compare notes on the G7 agenda as the G7 summit approaches next month in Germany. In Japan, President Biden won't just have a bilateral program. He'll also have the opportunity to participate in the second in-person quad summit, following on the summit he hosted here in Washington last September. He will do this alongside the prime minister of Japan, the prime minister of India, and the prime minister of Australia. And we believe that this summit will demonstrate, both in substance and envision, that democracies can deliver and that these four nations working together will defend and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

While he's in Tokyo, President Biden will also launch a new, ambitious, economic initiative for the region-- the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. IPEF, as we affectionately call it, is a 21st century economic arrangement, a new model designed to tackle new economic challenges from setting the rules of the digital economy to ensuring secure and resilient supply chains, to managing the energy transition, to investing in clean, modern, high standards infrastructure. President Biden will be joined in person by the prime minister of Japan for the launch of IPEF and virtually by leaders from a number of Indo-Pacific partners from down under to Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia.

On security and economics, on technology and energy, on investment and infrastructure, we think this trip is going to put on full display President Biden's Indo-Pacific strategy, and that it will show in living color that the United States can at once lead the free world in responding to Russia's war in Ukraine, and at the same time chart a course for effective, principled, American leadership and engagement in a region that will define much of the future of the 21st century.