U.S. congratulates Yoon as South Korean president-elect, says alliance 'ironclad'

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Yoon Suk Yeol, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, who was elected South Korea’s new president on Thursday, is congratulated by party’s members and lawmakers upon his arrival at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea March 10, 2022. Lee Jin-man/Pool via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday congratulated South Korea's President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and said President Joe Biden looked forward to working with him to expand close cooperation between the allies.

"We congratulate President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol," a White House spokesperson said. "The alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, our economies and our people is ironclad. President Biden looks forward to continue working with the new President-elect to further expand our close cooperation."

Yoon was elected president in Wednesday's presidential election in South Korea, with ruling party candidate Lee Jae-myung conceding defeat and congratulating his opponent. read more

A White House official said Biden was expected to be in touch with Yoon to offer his congratulations, but had no details to share on when a call would take place.

The United States and South Korea are long-time allies and analysts expect Yoon's election will see closer alignment on how to respond to North Korea's continued development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons after outgoing President Moon Jae-in's push for concessions to encourage dialogue with Pyongyang.

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Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler and Andrea Ricci

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