Japan is looking at tackling security threats from North Korea by bolstering relations with the US and South Korea at the Camp David presidential retreat in Washington. The three countries will establish a hotline for use by their leaders and senior government officials. Talks will also surround joint military drills, economic security, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, among others.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will begin sharing real time information about North Korea’s missile launches at an early date. Biden seeks to use the summit, which will be made into an annual event, to urge South Korea and Japan to turn the page on their countries’ difficult shared history.
In recent decades, relations between Japan and South Korea soured because of unresolved historical issues such as Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula and nationalist pride. But that has been slowly and steadily normalized as both countries are concerned about China’s assertiveness in the Pacific and North Korea’s persistent nuclear threats.
Kurt Campbell, US’s Indo-Pacific adviser, said there has been a breathtaking kind of diplomacy that has been led by courageous leaders in Japan and South Korea. He highlighted that leaders of the respective countries have sometimes taken steps against the advice of their own counselors and staff, taking Japan-South Korean relations to a whole new level.
The Japanese PM said as the security environment becomes more severe, it is of great significance that Japanese, the US, and South Korean leaders to discuss. “This is a historic move to strengthen the strategic partnership among the three countries based on the unprecedentedly strong bilateral ties with the US and South Korea.
Sources say the leaders of the three countries are poised to reaffirm their cooperation in tackling North Korea. This summit is seen as the first standalone gathering for the United States, South Korea and Japan as their past discussions were all held on the sidelines of international meetings. They are likely to regularize their meetings into trilateral meetings for the foreign and defense ministers.