Leaders of Korea, U.S., Japan agree to upgrade trilateral cooperation

2023.05.22 09:33:01 | 2023.05.22 14:42:08

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, and U.S. President Joe Biden meets on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]이미지 확대

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, and U.S. President Joe Biden meets on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]



The leaders of South Korea, U.S. and Japan agreed to take their trilateral cooperation to a new level during a meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, on Sunday.

According to Korea’s presidential office and the White House on Sunday, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Hiroshima and discussed measures to upgrade their trilateral relationship.

The leaders particularly agreed to enhance their strategic cooperation to solidify international order to strengthen deterrence against North Korea.

“The leaders discussed how to take their trilateral cooperation to new heights, including with new coordination in the face of the DPRK’s illicit nuclear and missile threats, on economic security and on their respective Indo-Pacific Strategies,” the White House said.

Seoul’s presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon also noted that the leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas such as in a three-way security cooperation by sharing real-time information of North Korea’s missile warning system.

The three-way meeting was held informally for about two minutes. The meeting, however, is still considered significant in that it is the third meeting of its kind since Yoon took office and the first contact after the Korea-Japan relations began to recover.

Biden commended Yoon and Kishida “on their courageous work to improve their bilateral ties, noting that our trilateral partnership and the Indo-Pacific are stronger because of their efforts.”

U.S. President Biden is known to have expressed intentions to invite his Korean and Japanese counterparts for an additional meeting in Washington D.C. for further discussion, Reuters said.

Yoon, in the meantime, returned to Korea after his three-day visit to Japan and met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the presidential office in Yongsan. It is the first time in 30 years that an incumbent German chancellor has made a bilateral visit to Korea.

“We will swiftly establish a military secret information protection agreement between Korea and Germany and forge cooperation so that the supply chains in the defense industry operate smoothly,” Yoon said in a joint statement.

By Park Yoon-gyun, Kang Gye-man, and Lee Eun-joo

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