Japan, US, South Korea reaffirm cooperation on North Korea

TOKYO (AP) — The United States (US), Japan and South Korea yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to work together on North Korea’s denuclearisation and other regional threats but made no progress in bringing closer together the two US allies.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who held talks in Tokyo with her counterparts, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and South Korea’s Choi Jong-kun, said their alliance remains a “lynchpin of peace, security and prosperity”.

The officials reaffirmed the importance of respecting international law.

“When countries take actions that run counter to the US interests or that threatens our partners and allies, we will not let those challenges go unanswered,” Sherman said.

“It is important for the international community to unite and raise voice against unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and I hope to cooperate among the three countries,” Mori said.

South Korea’s Choi stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue with North Korea.

The worsening relations between Washington and Beijing have raised worries in Seoul that it would become squeezed between its main security ally and biggest trade partner.

Choi repeatedly welcomed the significance of holding the trilateral talks and said he hoped to have them held regularly for “close communication” among the three countries.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun and Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori during their trilateral meeting in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP