Japan, South Korea, U.S. to formalize trilateral defense cooperation

Japan, South Korea, U.S. to formalize trilateral defense cooperation

DEFENSE chiefs from Japan, South Korea, and the United States are working to formalize a framework to deepen their trilateral cooperation within the year.

Japan’s Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and South Korean defense chief Shin Won-sik held talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The three defense chiefs agreed to formalize a new framework that include senior-level policy consultations, information-sharing, trilateral exercises, and defense exchange cooperation.

The three allied nations also condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches which came days after Pyongyang’s failed attempt to put a second spy satellite into orbit.

North Korea last week angered South Korea for sending more than 200 large balloons filled with rubbish and manure as revenge for the anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent by activists from South Korea.

For years, South Korea has been spending billions to keep thousands of American troops on its soil which the U.S. claimed is a “powerful investment” to deter potential threats from North Korea. South Korea hosts an estimated 28,500 U.S. Forces on its soil.

The trilateral meeting with the United States happened a week after three-way talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Seoul.

Premier Li presented a five-point proposal to strengthen ties with Japan and South Korea as the three countries discussed the denuclearization of North Korea. The Chinese premier called on all parties to reduce tensions without singling out its trade partner North Korea.

Additionally, Chinese Communist Party diplomat Liu Jianchao urged Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to abide by the One China principle, which views Taiwan as an inalienable part of Chinese territory, during their meeting last week.

Japan also announced plans to create a group and team up with Washington to study the UFO phenomena and investigate whether they pose a huge threat to its national security.


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