Officials From US, Japan, and South Korea to Discuss Security Cooperation
Officials From US, Japan, and South Korea to Discuss Security Cooperation

By Andrew Thornebrooke

Officials from Japan, South Korea, and the United States will meet next week to discuss their shared commitments and increase trilateral security cooperation.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet with Japanese Vice Minister Takeo Mori and Korean First Vice Minister Cho Hyun-dong on Feb. 13 in Washington, according to an announcement made by the State Department on Feb. 10.

The three will discuss plans to enhance trilateral security cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific and the world more broadly.

A State Department official confirmed during a press briefing that the meeting would focus on “trilateral security cooperation” between the three powers to ensure the continued peace and stability of the region.

The leaders will explore concrete ways to jointly expand their partnership to deliver on their shared commitment to ensuring a “free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” the State Department said.

The leaders will also discuss collaboration on a suite of international issues, including providing support to Ukraine during its defense against Russian invasion.

A ‘Partnership Guided by Values’

The trilateral summit follows heightened efforts by the three powers to coordinate security cooperation and communication.

President Joe Biden met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Cambodia in November 2022, where the three leaders affirmed a “trilateral partnership guided by shared values, driven by innovation, and committed to shared prosperity and security.”

Japan and South Korea are two of the United States’ closest allies in the Indo-Pacific, and cooperation between the three powers is a critical piece of each nations’ strategy for contending with an increasingly belligerent China and North Korea.

The three powers are currently engaged in sweeping efforts aimed at achieving the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but the United States has reiterated that it will defend both Japan and South Korea from attack using the full means of its arsenal, up to and including nuclear weapons.

A separate statement from the State Department added that Sherman will also meet separately with Cho and Mori as part of an ongoing effort to ensure coordination between the three powers.

“These are the latest in a series of trilateral meetings between our three nations, ensuring close coordination on a range of issues affecting the region,” a State Department release said.

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