In a sign of easing relations between the United States’ two closest allies in Asia, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday that Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea’s Yun Seol-yeol met in a tripartite meeting on the sidelines of the Seven Advanced Democracies Summit. met with the president. in Hiroshima, Japan.
Topping the agenda of the conference were North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats and China’s growing assertiveness, two regional threats that have brought the three countries closer together.
in the statementThe White House said the leaders discussed “how to take trilateral cooperation to new heights,” including new partnerships in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, economic security, and their respective Indo-Pacific strategies. It says.
“A major focus for our three nations is to improve military interoperability, increase readiness, and be better prepared to deliver on our individual and collective national security commitments to each other and the region. It’s about finding ways to do it,” a senior government official said. officials said at a news conference on Saturday.
The official noted that the People’s Republic of China has taken punitive trade measures for political purposes, adding that they would also discuss “the economic challenges facing China in terms of coercion.”
In an interview with VOA on Friday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the three leaders were broadly aligned on the regional threat posed by Beijing.
“Japan is advocating a new National Security Strategy that will give it an even stronger voice and presence here in the Indo-Pacific from a regional security perspective,” Kirby said. “And President Yoon helped South Korea to formulate a new Indo-Pacific strategy that fits nicely with our national security strategy.”
Unlike his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who sought to strengthen ties with North Korea, Yoon has sought closer ties with Tokyo and Washington.
Both Japan and South Korea are treaty allies of the United States. After the defeat of Tokyo in World War II, the United States occupied Japan and promised to defend it in exchange for maintaining a large military presence in the country. In the aftermath of the war on the Korean Peninsula of 1950-1953, the two countries signed the United States-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953, which laid the groundwork for the continued U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula.
But Japan-South Korea relations have long been strained by historic animosity since Tokyo’s brutal occupation of Korea from 1910 until Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II. Despite opposition from some at home, Yoon and Kishida have continued to grow closer by expanding bilateral security and economic cooperation. The two met earlier this month, making it their second meeting in less than two months.
Shinho, a former defense ministry counselor who now teaches at Keio University, said, “The recent Kishida-Yoon summit has brought Japan-South Korea relations closer together, so it’s important for Biden to capitalize on the momentum in this trilateral relationship.” said.
“Whenever the leaders of the three countries meet together, we must seize the opportunity to re-emphasize the importance of trilateral cooperation,” Jimbo told VOA. “We must give the go-ahead for deeper cooperation to successfully navigate each domestic stakeholder.”
South Korea, which is not a G7 member, was invited to Hiroshima as an observer by Kishida, along with the leaders of Australia, Brazil, Comoros, Cook Islands, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.
The city, now rebuilt from the devastation of the atomic bombs dropped by American forces that ended World War II, provided a harrowing backdrop for the tripartite talks as North Korea’s sabers grew more quivering. North Korea has launched at least 13 missiles this year alone, including three intercontinental ballistic missiles.
During a state visit by South Korean leaders to the White House in April, Yoon and Biden signed the Washington Declaration, in which the South Korean government agreed not to pursue its own nuclear weapons program, in return for a U.S. emergency response. Expanded the role of decision-making in response planning. A North Korean nuclear strike and a stronger US presence in the region.
Yun said the Washington Declaration was an “unprecedented expansion and intensification” of the extended deterrence strategy, also known as the US nuclear umbrella.
Jinho said the tripartite talks in Hiroshima are an opportunity for leaders to discuss whether elements of the US extended deterrence are reasonably applicable to both South Korea and Japan.
“In that context, I think there’s a lot of potential for us to develop some coordinating mechanism together instead of one by one,” he added.
In April, senior officials from the three countries agreed to jointly host regular missile defense and anti-submarine exercises.
https://www.voanews.com/a/biden-meets-yoon-kishida-to-counter-north-korea-china/7102433.html Biden Meets Yoon, Kishida to Counter North Korea, China