South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to call for a strong response to North Korea’s provocations and efforts to bring the regime back to dialogue in a trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida later Wednesday, a presidential official said.
Yoon, Biden and Kishida are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid, which will mark the first trilateral meeting in nearly five years after the last one was held on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2017, Yonhap news agency reported.
“President Yoon plans to say that North Korea’s provocations should be handled strongly in accordance with principles and propose close cooperation between South Korea, the US and Japan so that North Korea will return to the dialogue table,” the official told reporters.
The three leaders are expected to agree that continued advances in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose a serious threat not only to the Korean Peninsula but also to the region and the world.
They will discuss the US extended deterrence commitment to its allies and ways to upgrade the three countries’ security cooperation.
“President Yoon will stress that the North Korean nuclear issue is a common task requiring an urgent response from South Korea, the US and Japan,” the official said.
The three leaders are also expected to share the understanding that cooperation among their countries is critical as nations that share the basic values of a liberal democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
South Korea and Japan have seen their relations deteriorate in recent years due to protracted rows over historical issues stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Washington has sought to encourage trilateral cooperation amid North Korea’s nuclear threats and growing security and economic challenges from China.