US, S. Korea, Japan unite against DPRK threat

The three met here earlier in the day for their third trilateral talks since South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol took office in May 2022….reports Asian Lite News

The US, South Korea and Japan will work together to deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has said.

The US diplomat also insisted that trilateral cooperation among the US and its two allies is only getting stronger, Yonhap news agency reported.

“The DPRK continued to threaten the ROK, Japan and its neighbours and the world with the launch of an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles last year,” Sherman said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Standing united, our nations will deter the DPRK and urge it to give up its nuclear weapons program and abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions,” she said at a joint press conference with her South Korean counterpart, Cho Hyun-dong, and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori.

The three met here earlier in the day for their third trilateral talks since South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol took office in May 2022.

North Korea fired 69 ballistic missiles last year, marking a new record number of ballistic missile launched in a year. Its previous annual record was at 25.

“On North Korea, we shared the recognition that North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities, including ballistic missile launches with an unprecedented frequency in unprecedented manners, pose a clear and serious challenge to the international community,” Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori said.

“Against these backdrops, coordination among Japan, the US and the ROK is becoming increasingly important not only in dealing with North Korea but also in maintaining peace and stability of the region and in realising the free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.

Cho said the three countries reaffirmed their efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.

“We committed ourselves to respond to any North Korean provocation and work toward complete denuclearization of North Korea,” Cho said of the trilateral vice foreign ministerial meeting.

“In response to this threat, (we will) strengthen robust ROK-US combined defense posture, and at the same time enhance our trilateral security cooperation with the US and Japan,” added Cho.

Cho said the three countries have also expressed deep concerns over the human rights situation in North Korea, and committed to working together to raise international awareness on the issue.

“We urge North Korea to return to denuclearisation talks,” he told the press conference.

Sherman said the trilateral cooperation between the US and its allies “remains strong and it is only getting stronger.”

The US official also stressed the importance of the trilateral cooperation in dealing with other regional issues, including “challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

“Today’s dialogue reiterated our core message — we will remain aligned with the ROK, Japan, other allies and partners worldwide to push back on the PRC behaviour that challenges the rules based regional and international order,” she said.

Cho noted the three agreed on the “urgent need to address common security challenges, “supply chain disruptions and energy crisis”.

“We reaffirmed our shared commitment to strengthening strategic consultation amongst three countries, including the dialogue on economic security,” he said.

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