South Korea, the U.S. and Japan presented a united front Wednesday, as their leading diplomats gathered in Seoul for talks aimed at defusing North Korea’s nuclear threat.
Seoul’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa said the three will have to improve cooperation if they are to be successful in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula peacefully.
Kang met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama before the latter pair were due to hold talks with their South Korean counterpart Lim Sung-nam.
“I hope that the three vice ministers hold discussions in detail and, based on them, the three countries seek much closer coordination at the ministerial and leadership levels,” Kang was quoted as saying by local news agency Yonhap.
U.S. President Donald Trump is to visit South Korea and Japan in person next month, although Washington is yet to fill its Seoul ambassador position, which has been open since January -- a period that has seen multiple North Korean ballistic missile launches and a sixth nuclear test, which drew strengthened United Nations Security Council sanctions.
Meanwhile, American strategic bombers and naval assets are in and around the peninsula this week for drills and an exhibition aimed at demonstrating the allies’ military strength.
By Alex Jensen in Seoul