The late fall of 2020 saw attention turn to Joe Biden, including his nominees for policy posts in national security and their thinking on the Indo-Pacific region. He prioritizes rebuilding alliances and partnerships, but some asked what would he seek from these countries. If Biden would not follow Trump’s lead in top-down diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, few expected that the staggered pace of engagement, called by critics as “strategic patience,” would suffice. Much of the discussion has centered on North Korea, often as seen in neighboring states but always with an eye to how US policy will address it ahead. ROK-US relations have been a big concern against this backdrop.