New conservative South Korean leader prepares for inauguration with pledge for deeper ties to U.S.

The inauguration of South Korea’s conservative new president is expected to pave the way for greater military and diplomatic coordination between Washington and Seoul in response to escalating North Korean nuclear and missile threats, as well as to China’s expanding pressure tactics against smaller countries across Asia.

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, who takes office Tuesday, is outspoken about his desire to more closely align his country’s strategic goals with those of the U.S. — a shift that analysts say will be on display when Mr. Yoon hosts President Biden for a summit on May 21 in Seoul.

The inauguration and summit come at a moment of heightened tension with North Korea, amid predictions from regional analysts that Pyongyang may seek to disrupt the developments by testing more intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or perhaps even a nuclear weapon over the coming days.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen
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