The U.S. has indirectly expressed hope that South Korea will play a role in defending Taiwan in the event that China launches an attack on the island.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Monday that the U.S.-South Korea alliance is ironclad and based on their common interests in the Indo-Pacific region as well as their shared values.
Price was responding to a question asking if the U.S. would want South Korea to join efforts to defend Taiwan, adding that one of the reasons for the U.S.’ support of Taiwan is that the two nations have shared values, as is also the case with the U.S.’ alliance with South Korea.
The spokesperson added that the U.S., South Korea and other allies in the region have a common interest in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific and they have discussed the matter regularly.
In an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday, President Yoon Suk Yeol responded to a question about whether South Korea would participate in a militarized defense of Taiwan by saying that if China were to attack the island, North Korea is highly likely to engage in provocation.
The president said that in such a scenario, South Korea’s top priority would be dealing with the North’s threat based on the strong South Korea-U.S. alliance.