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[ROK-US-Japan defense ministerial talks] ROK, US and Japan to regularly conduct missile alert, search and tracking exercises

In trilateral defense ministerial talks, the three sides discuss ways to beef up cooperation, including sharing information in the Indo-Pacific region

[ROK-US-Japan defense ministerial talks] ROK, US a

Defense ministers of the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States (US), and Japan agreed to stage a trilateral combined missile alert exercise and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise, while expressing strong condemnation of North Korea’s continued ballistic missile launches.


“Minister Lee Jong-seop, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin , and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo discussed the plan at their trilateral defense ministerial talks held in Singapore,” the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement released on June 11.


According to the ministry, the three sides discussed the situation in North Korea, ways to beef up trilateral security cooperation, and a joint response to security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region during the talks. Significantly, they agreed to further concentrate their efforts on additional measures to respond to North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, as well as the missile alert exercise and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise.


“The missile alert exercise and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise have been carried out irregularly depending on conditions. Given the grave situation, the exercises will be staged on a regular schedule moving forward,” a ministry spokesperson explained.


The three sides vowed to work closely together toward their joint goal of achieving the complete denuclearization of and the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. They also affirmed that it is important for the international community to completely implement UN Security Council resolutions, and stressed the importance of continued international cooperation aimed at deterring and preventing North Korea’s illegal maritime transshipment, with the ultimate goal of eliminating it altogether. They shared the view that the international community’s common goal is North Korea’s thorough implementation of its international obligations, in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.


Significantly, all three defense ministers expressed deep concern over North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs that are seriously threatening peace and stability in the international community, and agreed to handle the concern through coordinated trilateral talks. The three sides also affirmed that North Korea’s launch of ballistic missiles is a clear violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. All shared the view that it is important to work on building defense-related trust between the nations in the region, and agreed to beef up cooperation in institutionalizing their effort.


The three sides also discussed issues of the security situation in the region. They shared the view that it is important to deepen their efforts for trilateral cooperation, including sharing information on key issues in light of the free and open Indo-Pacific concept, high-level talks on policies, and combined exercises. They expressed their resolute opposition to any unilateral acts that could increase tensions in the region, and stressed the importance of ensuring the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. They also shared concerns about any acts inconsistent with the rules-based international order, and stressed the importance of free navigation and free flight.


The three sides also reaffirmed that every conflict needs to be resolved in a peaceful way based on principles of international law.

By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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