South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife Kim Keon Hee wave national flags during a ceremony to mark the 78th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, August 1, 2017. 15, 2023. | Image credit: THROUGH REUTERS
South Korea’s president called for deeper security cooperation with the United States and Japan to tackle North Korea’s nuclear threat, and said on Tuesday that his upcoming summit with world leaders American and Japanese leaders at Camp David will “set a new milestone in tripartite cooperation”.
This will be the first time that the leaders of the three countries have gathered specifically for a trilateral summit, rather than on the sidelines of international meetings. This shows that they are serious about forging ties between complex regional challenges such as North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and Washington’s strategic rivalry with Beijing.
During Friday’s summit at the US presidential retreat in Maryland, President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are expected to announce expansion plans military cooperation on technology development and ballistic missile defense, according to two senior Biden officials. administrative staff.
The summit “will establish a new milestone in trilateral cooperation that contributes to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said. Yoon said in a televised address in Seoul on Tuesday.
The speech marked the 78th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan’s 35-year colonial rule in 1945. Previous Korean presidents often used Liberation Day speeches to demanded a new apology from Japan for its colonial actions. But he. Yoon, a conservative who has pushed to address historical grievances as a way to promote Seoul-Washington-Tokyo cooperation, instead explains why it is necessary to improve relations with Japan.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 78th anniversary of the Liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 2017. 15, 2023. | Image credit: THROUGH REUTERS
Grandfather. Yoon said the seven bases behind Japan’s supply to the US-led United Nations Command act as the “biggest deterrent” against North Korea’s invasion of South Korea. He said that a North Korean invasion would trigger immediate, automatic intervention by the United Nations Command and that bases in Japan have the necessary land, sea and air capabilities. .
“As cooperative economic and security partners, South Korea and Japan will be able to jointly contribute to global peace and prosperity while cooperating and exchanging in a forward-looking manner.” he said. Yoon said.
He said the importance of Seoul-Washington-Tokyo security cooperation is growing on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.
“In order to fundamentally deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, South Korea, the United States, and Japan must closely cooperate on nuclear weapons and missile data-sharing and surveillance equipment.” North Korea in real time,” he said. Yoon said.
When they met on the sidelines of a regional conference in Cambodia in November, Mr. Yoon, Mr. Biden and Mr. Kishida said it intends to share North Korea’s missile warning data to improve each country’s ability to detect and assess the threat posed by an incoming missile. In June, their defense minister said it noted the effort to enable such a data-sharing mechanism before the end of the year.
The Camp David summit is expected to anger North Korea, which has argued that US moves to increase military cooperation with South Korea and Japan are pushing it to bolster its military capabilities. own self. North Korea views US-led military exercises on and near the Korean Peninsula as an invasion rehearsal.
China, which is extremely sensitive to what it sees as other countries instigating them, condemned the summit.
“China opposes the relevant countries forming different factions, and their behaviors exacerbate confrontation and endanger the strategic security of other countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang said. Wenbin said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We hope the relevant countries will follow the trend of the times and do something beneficial to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”
South Korea insists that efforts to strengthen its alliance with the US and participate in US-led regional initiatives will not target China, its largest trading partner.
Concerns about North Korea’s nuclear program have grown since North Korea publicly threatened to use nuclear weapons in conflicts with rivals and conducted about 100 missile tests since early last year. . Many of the missiles are nuclear-capable weapons that put both South Korea and Japan in range and are capable of reaching the continental United States. South Korea and Japan together receive about 80,000 US troops.
In response to North Korea’s missile tests, the United States and South Korea expanded military exercises and resumed some trilateral training involving Japan.
South Korea, the United States and Japan have held trilateral leaders’ meetings a total of 12 times since 1994, but all have taken place on the sidelines of international conferences, according to the South Korean presidential office.
This week’s trilateral summit comes as relations between Seoul and Tokyo have eased significantly in recent months. In March, Mr. Yoon took an important step in resolving the bilateral dispute over colonial-era Korean forced laborers, despite strong domestic outcry from some of the victims and their communist opponents. his freedom. Grandfather. Yoon has argued that Seoul and Tokyo share challenges such as the growing rivalry between the US and China and problems with global supply chains and North Korea’s nuclear program.