Blinken arrives in South Korea to attend democracy summit - 7 minute timer

Blinken arrives in South Korea to attend democracy summit

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SEOUL: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Sunday in South Korea on the primary cease of a short Asia tour additionally together with the Philippines, as Washington strikes to strengthen ties with two key regional allies.Blinken landed Sunday afternoon forward of the third Summit for Democracy on Monday, an initiative of US President Joe Biden, which Seoul is internet hosting this week.Earlier than arriving in Seoul, Blinken made a short cease in Bahrain, the place he spoke to King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa about efforts to realize a ceasefire in Gaza.The summit, which runs from March 18-20 will convey collectively authorities officers, NGOs and civil society members. Seoul is considered one of Washington’s key regional allies, and the US has stationed about 27,000 American troopers within the South, to assist defend it in opposition to the nuclear-armed North.Seoul’s conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol has boosted ties with Washington and sought to bury the historic hatchet with former colonial energy Japan to higher guard in opposition to Pyongyang’s threats.Blinken will meet South Korean Overseas Minister Cho tae-yul, the ministry mentioned, for discussions that can cowl tips on how to increase the alliance, as Washington and Seoul discover tips on how to enhance their so-called “extended deterrence” in opposition to North Korea.The democracy summit has attracted some criticism because of its selective invitation listing, which excludes nations that take into account themselves democratic, reminiscent of Thailand and Turkey.After Seoul, Blinken heads to Manila, a visit that can reaffirm “our unwavering commitment to the Philippine ally”, in keeping with State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller.He’ll discuss with native officers together with President Ferdinand Marcos, with points with China together with over the South China Sea more likely to high the agenda.The US is redoubling efforts to enhance longstanding ties with regional allies reminiscent of Manila, in an effort to counterbalance China.Beijing not too long ago accused Washington of utilizing the Philippines as a “pawn” within the dispute over the South China Sea, after a sequence of clashes round bitterly-contested islets within the waters.China claims nearly the complete waterway, brushing apart competing claims from a number of Southeast Asian nations and a global ruling that has declared its stance baseless.The South China Sea is strategically very important for a number of nations — together with China — offering a key route for the import and export of important gasoline, meals and different items.China has quickly grown its naval forces in recent times, and snatched huge tracts of maritime territory, hoping to challenge its army and political energy properly past the nation’s shores.

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