South Korea rules out Japan's inclusion in nuclear consultative group
South Korean Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul's clarification comes after speculation that Tokyo may join Nuclear Consultative Group formed by Seoul and Washington
South Korea on Monday ruled out Japan's inclusion in a nuclear consultative group formed by Seoul and Washington to strengthen nuclear deterrence against North Korea's "military threats."
"I don't think there will be a sudden move to include Japan in the NCG (Nuclear Consultative Group) in the next summit talks," South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Shin Beom-chul said in an interview, local Yonhap news agency reported.
His remarks come after speculation that Tokyo may join the NCG and that Seoul and Washington agreed during their leaders' summit last month.
The NCG is a consultative body that increases cooperation between Washington and Seoul for extended deterrence against North Korea's nuclear threats to the highest level.
Tokyo has long been interested in creating a body akin to the NCG, but Shin said he was unaware of any progress in such talks between Japan and the US.
Shin's remarks came a day after US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to strengthen trilateral cooperation to bolster deterrence against North Korean threats during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima last week.
Shin said efforts are underway to hold a trilateral defense ministerial meeting with Beijing and Tokyo by the end of this year, the news agency reported.