US, Japan, South Korea officials show united front on the North

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Apr 03, 2021, 08:38 AM(IST)

US NSA Jake Sullivan Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The meeting came as a review by the Biden administration on how to deal with North Korea is in its final stages, following Donald Trump's unusually personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un.

Officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea met and showed a united front Friday on concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

The meeting came as a review by the Biden administration on how to deal with North Korea is in its final stages, following Donald Trump's unusually personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un.

Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden's national security advisor, held a rare in-person meeting jointly with his counterparts from South Korea and Japan, Suh Hoon and Shigeru Kitamura, at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The three officials said in a joint statement that they "shared their concerns about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs" and promised "concerted trilateral cooperation towards denuclearisation."

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"They agreed on the imperative for full implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions by the international community, including North Korea, preventing proliferation and cooperating to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.

The security officials also discussed the fights against Covid-19 and climate change, and ways to restore democracy in Myanmar.

Biden has sharply criticised Trump's meetings with Kim, saying he legitimised one of the world's most ruthless leaders, but has also said he is open to diplomacy.

Biden administration officials are widely expected to support a resumption of lower-level talks rather than high-stakes, high-drama summits.

Biden has also warned North Korea of consequences for violations of UN Security Council resolutions after Pyongyang recently tested what US officials judged to be ballistic missiles.

Media reports added Sullivan also spoke to Japan and South Korea about the global shortage of semiconductors, as supply chains have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Annapolis talks mark rare in-person diplomacy for the Biden administration amid the pandemic and Sullivan's first trilateral since taking office. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last month jointly visited both Tokyo and Seoul on their first foreign trips.

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