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US, Korea, and Japan Unite Against Threats from North Korea, China, and Russia

Daniel Kim Views  

Newsis

South Korea, the United States, and Japan have repeatedly affirmed their collective security goal of maintaining the status quo.

In particular, all three countries sent messages aimed at North Korea, China, and Russia, expressing their strong will to maintain peace and stability in the region.

According to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense on the 25th, the defense authorities of South Korea, the United States, and Japan held the annual Deputy-level Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) virtually on the 24th (local time).

The DTT, first held in 2008, was suspended after the 2020 meeting due to the impact of COVID-19 and resumed last year after a three-year hiatus.

Cho Chang Rae, Republic of Korea Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy, Ely Ratner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, and Koji Kano, Japan’s Director General for Defense Policy, convened the meeting as the senior representatives of each country.

Ministry of Defense

The ROK Ministry of National Defense stated, “The representatives of the three countries exchanged evaluations of the recent security environment in the Korean Peninsula, the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond, and discussed concrete measures to strengthen trilateral security cooperation.”

Above all, the defense authorities of the three countries emphasized, “We strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo or escalate tensions in the region through force or coercion.”

In this context, they declared no tolerance for the attempts by North Korea, China, and Russia to change the status quo, by mentioning directly or indirectly such as △North Korea’s nuclear and missile advancement △the possibility of China invading Taiwan, △and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To North Korea: Stop Unstable Actions
Strong International Maneuver if Nuclear Test Occurs
Reconfirmed Willingness for Diplomatic Engagement

First of all, regarding North Korea, the representatives of the three countries condemned that it violated numerous UN Security Council resolutions by acting such as △diversifying nuclear delivery means, △multiple ballistic missile tests and launches, △launching so-called military reconnaissance satellites by using ballistic missile technology, and △illegal transfer and transportation of weapons between Russia and North Korea.

They particularly urged an immediate halt to all actions causing instability and emphasized, “If a nuclear test is conducted, it will face strong and firm maneuver from the international community.” This reconfirms the principle of intolerance towards North Korean provocations that could undermine peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and increase the possibility of changing the status quo.

However, they also expressed their willingness to engage in diplomatic negotiations, stating, “The path to peaceful and diplomatic resolution with North Korea remains open.”

To China: “Peace and Stability in Taiwan are Important”
Emphasized Freedom of Navigation and Overflight
To Russia: “Invasion of Ukraine is Illegal and Unfair”

Regarding China, the representatives of the three countries recognized that their primary positions on Taiwan remained unchanged. They emphasized the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity in the international community.

The primary position on Taiwan refers to the One-China principle that “Taiwan is also part of China.” However, the representatives of the three countries mentioned the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait while stating their opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion, which can be interpreted as a message that they cannot tolerate China’s military invasion of Taiwan.

In the same context, the representatives of South Korea, the United States, and Japan shared concerns about actions that are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and stressed the importance of fully respecting freedom of navigation and overflight.

This is evaluated as a phrase bearing in mind China, which has vehemently opposed the Freedom of Navigation Operations led by the United States.

South Korea, the United States, and Japan did not spare warning messages targeting Russia.

The ROK Ministry of National Defense stated, “The representatives of the three countries recognized that Russia’s actions (invasion of Ukraine) are serious violations of the principles of territorial preservation and sovereignty” and “reconfirmed the will of the three countries to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s illegal, unfair, and brutal war of aggression.”

The Second Half of the Year Trilateral Security Meeting to be Held in Korea
U.S. Reconfirms Ironclad Defense Commitments to Korea and Japan

The representatives of the three countries agreed on the importance of maintaining momentum to promote trilateral security cooperation.

The ROK Ministry of National Defense stated, “We pledged to continue to work together to strengthen cooperation of national security and agreed to hold the 15th Korea-U.S.-Japan Security Meeting (DTT) in Korea in the second half of this year.”

Meanwhile, the United States reaffirmed its ironclad defense commitments to South Korea and Japan. This includes a commitment to defend its allies with every category of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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