Top lawmakers invite South Korean president to address Congress

The U.S. is moving to strengthen its relationships with parts of Asia, as tensions with China worsen.

Top lawmakers invite South Korean president to address Congress

On Thursday, Congressional leaders invited South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol for a speech at a joint session of Congress to be held on April 27, 2019.

In a joint press release, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky. ), Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif. ), and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) announced that they invited Yoon to attend the event "in honor of 70th anniversary of alliance between United States and Republic of Korea".

In the invitation, the leaders of the Congress wrote: "The relationship between United States and Republic of Korea is of great significance and importance."

They added, "Your leadership is instrumental in strengthening the partnership. We believe that the Joint Meeting will provide you with an ideal opportunity to share your vision of the future U.S. - Korea alliance as well as to highlight the recent progress made."

As tensions between China and the United States worsen, the U.S. is continuing to work on strengthening its relationship with Asia.

On Thursday, McCarthy met with the self-governing island's president a day after he defied Beijing. The delegation was on its third overseas visit after visits to U.S. ally countries Japan and South Korea.

According to a South Korean Defense Ministry spokeswoman, earlier this week the U.S., South Korea and Japan conducted joint military exercises, which included anti-submarine drills to improve their ability to respond underwater threats such as North Korea’s submarine-launched missiles.

Last month, the White House announced that Jill Biden, President Joe Biden, and Yoon will be hosting Kim Keon Hee and her husband, Yoon, on April 26 for a visit, which will include an official dinner.

Biden and Yoon had met before at the East Asia Summit held in Cambodia in November. Biden, his South Korean and Japanese colleagues pledged to work together to coordinate a response against North Korea's nuke programs during that trip.