Yoon, Biden, Kishida hold summit at Camp David

August 18, 2023

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a trilateral summit at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on Friday, hailing the meeting as a new chapter in trilateral cooperation.

Yoon said in opening remarks that it is meaningful to be opening a new chapter in trilateral cooperation at the camp known for its symbolism in modern diplomatic history.

“Our three countries should firmly unite so that our individual freedoms are not threatened or damaged,” he said, noting the need to firmly establish an institutional basis to further strengthen trilateral cooperation. “This is also a promise and duty to our future generations.”

Biden recalled that strengthening ties among the three nations has been a priority for him ever since he was vice president.

“That’s because our countries are stronger, and the world is safer — let me say that again — our countries are stronger and the world would be safer as we stand together,” he said.

Biden thanked Yoon and Kishida for their “political courage,” apparently referring to their recent efforts to mend South Korea-Japan relations that were badly frayed over historical disputes under the previous administration in Seoul.

“You stepped up to do the hard work, I would argue historic work, to forge a foundation from which we can face the future together, the three of us together, and I’m deeply grateful for your leadership,” he said. “And I look forward to working with both of you as we begin this new era of cooperation and renew our resolve to serve as a force of good across the Indo-Pacific and, quite frankly, around the world as well.”