The United States expects that a trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea to be hosted by President Joe Biden later this month at his Camp David retreat will be "historic," a White House official said Wednesday.
Biden is "very much looking forward to hosting" the summit on Aug. 18, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said, noting that bolstering a trilateral relationship with Japan and South Korea, both U.S. treaty allies, is important not only for Washington but also for the rest of the world.
"Camp David has been a historic setting for summit meetings and for significant foreign policy conversations throughout the history of its existence," Kirby said during an online press briefing, when asked about the reasoning behind the Biden administration choosing the retreat near Washington as its venue.
He said Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for what the administration believes will be "a discussion of historic proportions in terms of the importance of this trilateral relationship to the Indo-Pacific region and, frankly, to the world."
The forthcoming summit will be held at a time when Japan and South Korea seek to forge closer ties, with Kishida and Yoon agreeing earlier this year to move on from a long-festering dispute over wartime conscripted labor. It is also taking place as North Korea shows no signs of relenting in its pursuit of advanced missile and nuclear capabilities.
It will be the first standalone summit between the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea, as past trilateral discussions were all held on the sidelines of international meetings.