S. Korea, U.S., Japan vow cooperation for Pyongyang’s complete denuclearization

Jun 03, 2019, 09:19 am

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South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (left), Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya take photos after their trilateral meeting in Singapore on Sunday./ Source: The Ministry of National Defense

AsiaToday reporter Jo Jae-hyung 

The defense ministers of South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Sunday to closely cooperate to support diplomatic efforts for the establishment of complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

They also agreed on the need for assessment of North Korea’s recent missile launches and a thorough implementation of U.S. Security Council Resolutions against the North. 

Unlike South Korea and the United States who urged the three countries to cooperation in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, however, Japan labeled North Korea’s short-range missiles as ballistic missiles and repeatedly argued that the North violated the U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo held talks with Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya in Singapore on the sidelines of the Asia Security Summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. After their 100-minute talk, they issued a joint statement. 

“The three defense ministers pledged that South Korea, the United States, and Japan will closely cooperate to support diplomatic efforts to establish complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the joint statement read. 

In particular, they emphasized the importance of the international community’s commitment to thoroughly implement U.N. Security Council Resolutions, including sustained international cooperation to deter, disrupt and eradicate North Korea’s illicit ship-to-ship transfer.

◇ Assessments of NK missiles differ between three countries

In addition, the ministers pledged to share their assessments of North Korea’s recent missile launches and stay vigilant with regards to related moves by Pyongyang. However, they differed markedly in how they assess North Korea’s recent missile launches. 

“North Korea’s launch of short-range ballistic missiles last month is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Iwaya said. 

“The three nations have successfully led North Korea to change its course,” Jeong said. “It is time to gather efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table,” he added.

“The three nations will share a common vision for the future of Indo-Pacific region, maintain international order, and achieve North Korea’s complete denuclearization,” Shanahan said.

#denuclearization #defense ministers #Shangri-La Dialogue #South Korea #Japan 
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