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Secretary of State Antony Blinken has landed in Seoul to engage in dialogues with South Korean officials. This trip is his first to the country in over two years and forms a piece of his broader Asian tour, which included G7 meetings and discussions with Japanese leaders in Tokyo, and will conclude with a visit to India.
The meetings in Seoul come as concerns over North Korea’s strengthening military relations with Russia, especially in light of allegations regarding North Korean arms supplies to Russia amidst its war with Ukraine.
During his visit, Blinken and his South Korean counterpart are addressing the strengthened military bonding between North Korea and Russia, with suspicions that North Korea aims to gain strategic military advantages through these ties. Meanwhile, South Korea has heightened its vigilance following North Korea’s declaration of “Missile Industry Day,” which commemorates their intercontinental ballistic missile testing.
Adding to this, South Korea, with US assistance, is scheduling the launch of its spy satellite from a US military base to enhance its surveillance capabilities.
This comes as US officials have reiterated America’s steadfast focus on the Indo-Pacific region, underscoring Blinken’s trip as evidence of enduring US commitment. Simultaneously, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will also be touring South Korea, contributing to a robust show of diplomatic presence in the region.