South Korea, the US and Japan have postponed their trilateral defence ministerial talks that they had considered holding this month, Seoul’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
Japanese media outlets reported earlier that the three countries have decided to delay the talks set to take place on January 13 in Hawaii due to the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“There were not any discussions yet as to when to rearrange the talks,” Col. Moon Hong-sik, the Ministry’s deputy spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.
“We have decided to have related consultations at an appropriate time.”
Earlier this week, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that he tested positive for Covid-19.
The three countries had considered arranging the defence talks as Washington is striving to rally its allies and partner countries to counter China’s assertiveness amid an intensifying great-power rivalry.
The nations last held a trilateral defence ministerial meeting on the margins of security talks involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok in November 2019