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International relations

Moon Jae-in's visit to US tinged by promises to China

At May summit, Biden expected to tell South Korean president to act as an ally

President Moon says Seoul will pursue "balanced diplomacy by deepening further its relations with China while placing importance on its relationship with the U.S." (Nikkei montage/AP/Reuters)

TOKYO -- The strained ties between the U.S. and South Korea can be likened to a couple going through a particularly rocky stretch, in which a slight misstep could lead to a seriously damaged relationship. Both are trying to hide their anger and unhappiness in the hope of eventually patching things up.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden will have an opportunity to do just that on May 21 when Moon visits the White House. The summit comes with Washington growing concerned about a force that is threatening its alliance with South Korea, namely China, and with Seoul walking a tightrope between the battling hegemons.

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