Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

For almost three months, President Biden and his top foreign policy aides have been immersed in the Russian war in Ukraine, wrestling with how to punish Moscow and bolster the beleaguered Ukrainians. On Thursday, Biden embarks on his first trip to Asia, hoping to reassure Asian allies that the United States is not too preoccupied with Ukraine to take a leading role in blunting the influence of China.

The Post’s Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Seung Min Kim and Michelle Ye Hee Lee report that Biden has called China the chief global competitor of the United States. As the war in Ukraine settles into what may be a long slog, Biden is seeking to show that his administration can multitask when it comes to leading coalitions against aggressive superpowers.

Biden lands in South Korea on Friday and heads to Japan three days later. The president’s five-day trip includes meetings with South Korea’s newly elected president, Yoon Suk-yeol, and with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Biden will also hold a summit with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan as part of a meeting of the so-called Quad, a strategic partnership formed in part to counter China’s ascent.

Cleve, Seung Min and Michelle write:

Biden faces a host of challenges on the trip, including a looming intercontinental ballistic missile test by North Korea that threatens to upend his plans. South Korean officials said Wednesday that Washington and Seoul are preparing a joint command-and-control “Plan B” in case Pyongyang conducts a missile test this weekend.

You can read the full story here.

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