With South Korea's presidential election drawing near, analysts are watching whether the next leader and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida can put history behind them and move relations forward in the face of an increasingly assertive China and North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

This is particularly the case when the United States is calling for closer coordination with the two allies to deter any attempt to destabilize East Asia such as Beijing's ambition to seize Taiwan and Pyongyang's threat to end its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches.

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