Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol have traveled to the US president’s retreat in Maryland, situated west of Washington for the summit.
Japan and South Korea have had historically strained relations dating back to Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of Korea.
What’s expected to come from the summit
Biden would not be pressed on what he hoped to achieve in the talks, only saying to the media before departing on Air Force One that there wouldn’t be any comment until he had met with his counterparts.
The three leaders are, however, expected to agree on a crisis hotline involving the three countries and take part in regular military drills along with annual summits, according to US officials.
“We have created something that is exactly what China was hoping would never happen,” said the US ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel.
“Our message is we are a permanent Pacific power and presence, and you can bet long on America,” he said at the Brookings Institution.
US attempts to bolster security ties with regional allies have ruffled feathers in China with the country’s top diplomat Wang Yi issuing a warning last month.
“No matter how blond you dye your hair or how sharp you shape your nose, you can never become a European or American, you can never become a Westerner,” he said in a video shared on official media. “We must know where our roots lie,” he said.
Regional security concerns
While the leaders meet, one of a number of regional security challenges is expected to come into focus in the form of North Korea.
Last month Russia and China attended a military parade in Pyongyang, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
Nuclear-capable missiles and new attack drones were among the weapons on display, according to state media.
In the past Moscow and Beijing have distanced themselves from North Korea’s sanctions-defying military activities, however, both governments sent senior officials to survey the equipment on display.
More immediately, South Korean intelligence believes Pyongyang is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile to coincide with the three-way talks.
Missiles fired by North Korea frequently crash into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
kb/ab (AFP, AP)