President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden will welcome South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee to the White House in late April for an official state visit, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
The state visit will be the second of Biden’s presidency, underscoring close ties between the US and South Korea, and will take place April 26.
“The upcoming visit celebrates the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-ROK alliance, which is critical to advancing peace, stability, and prosperity for our two countries, the Indo-Pacific, and around the world,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
She added, “President Biden and President Yoon will highlight the importance and enduring strength of the ironclad U.S.-ROK alliance as well as the United States’ unwavering commitment to the ROK. The presidents will discuss our shared resolve to deepen and broaden our political, economic, security and people-to-people ties.”
The visit will include a state dinner, the White House said. A White House state visit traditionally includes formal ceremonies, bilateral meetings and a black-tie dinner.
Biden previously hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for a state visit, which was held in December, more than halfway through his first term in office and later than previous presidents due to the pandemic.
The presidents have met multiple times the past year, including during visits to Cambodia and the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The conservative Yoon and his administration have made strengthening the US-South Korea alliance a key foreign policy priority. Biden, likewise, has sought to nurture the relationship, including with the symbolic marker of his trip to Seoul in May 2022, his first stop on his inaugural trip to Asia as president.
The alliance is growing increasingly important in the context of countering China’s aggression and influence, something Biden has made a signature issue of his foreign policy as president.
Biden has also worked to foster improved relations between South Korea and Japan, and marked a “groundbreaking new chapter of cooperation and partnership between two of the United States’ closest allies” earlier this week when the two countries announced an agreement to resolve a wartime labor dispute, a longtime source of tension.
The visit also comes as North Korea continues to heighten its military provocations, launching multiple intercontinental ballistic missile tests in the past year. The US has held military drills with South Korea and Japan in response.
CNN’s MJ Lee contributed to this report.