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President Yoon Suk-yeol is poised to play host to his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden late this week here in capital Seoul.
And ahead of planned summit on Saturday I have a panel of foreign journalists and their take on the upcoming event.
I have Thomas MARESCA… from UPI.
Thomas… it’s good to have you… here.
I also have Jack Barton… a freelance journalist… currently based here in South Korea.
Jack… welcome back.

1)Thomas… President Yoon's first in-person summit comes within two weeks of his term in office and he's playing hosting to his U.S. counterpart.
Now quite a number of pundits here are calling this event significant.
Do you share their views?
(And why?)

2) Jack… in a letter to President Yoon upon his inauguration last week Mr. Biden shared hopes for close collaboration over the next five years.
Let's begin then in the area of security here on the peninsula.
Both the South Korean and U.S. leaders have called for the complete surrender of nuclear ambitions by North Korea.
How does this shared stance look to affect the current standoff on the Korean peninsula?

3)Thomas… some fear that this joint pressure on North Korea may cement a rather confrontational atmosphere here in the region with Seoul and Washington on one side and Pyeongyang Beijing and Moscow on the other.
Is this the portrait that you see as well?

4) Jack… moving forward… what do you believe… are the chances… of further acts of provocation by Pyeongyang… during President Biden’s trip… to this part of the world… and… what may be the reclusive regime’s intentions?

5) Thomas… the widespread speculation is that North Korea may conduct its 7th nuclear test as early as this month.
What would be the broader implications… of this flagrant display of aggression?

6) Jack… do you suppose North Korea's persistent shows of military might could HINDER the international community's efforts to aid Pyeongyang's fight against the pandemic?
Or should such security issues be separated from humanitarian support?

7) Thomas on the trade front President Biden is expected to touch upon his plans for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and pundits are calling for a cautious approach by the Yoon administration as the framework is widely seen as targeting China's growing regional influence.
What are your thoughts?

8) Jack… what does Korea look to gain and perhaps lose by partaking in this regional economic pact?

9)Thomas… during the second virtual global COVID-19 summit… last week… President Biden claimed… tackling the pandemic must remain an international priority.
Do you suppose… the two administrations could work… productively… on this particular front?

10) Jack… the Yoon administration has spoken about… expanding… its presence… within the international arena.
Aside from the pandemic… what other global effort… can it seek… to make?

All right
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