The Korea Herald


S. Korea-US-Japan to hold summit in Hiroshima without joint statement

Yoon also scheduled to meet with leaders of Canada, Germany, EU this month in Seoul

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : May 14, 2023 - 17:55

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Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office (Yonhap) Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol will hold a meeting with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the upcoming Group of Seven summit to be held in Hiroshima, Japan, to discuss ways to cooperate on North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, according to the presidential office on Sunday.

The trilateral summit comes six months since the three leaders' meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November last year. It marks the third such meeting since Yoon took office in May last year.

The three leaders are expected to discuss strategic plans to “upgrade Korea-US-Japan cooperation to the next level in response to common challenge such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, regional supply chain instability and energy crisis,” according to Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy director of the National Security Office, at a press briefing in the afternoon.

The summit is anticipated to be hold on May 21, the last day of the summit.

When asked about the extent of trilateral security cooperation during the talks, a high-ranking official said anonymously that military officials from the three countries have been engaged in working-level discussions since the information sharing on North Korean missiles were specified in the joint statement as an outcome of the previous summit in Phnom Penh.

“At the Hiroshima summit, the three countries are expected to each announce the results of what has been reported, confirmed and coordinated, rather than coming up with new agreements,” the official said.

The G-7 meeting will be exclusively attended by member countries and an expanded meeting that includes inviting countries and international organizations. During the expanded meeting, leaders will engage in discussions on various topics, including food, health, climate and energy development. Kim said Yoon will attend and speak at the expanded meeting without mentioning specific topics.

Yoon and Kishida will possibly jointly visit the memorial stone dedicated to Korean victims who died from atomic bombs in Hiroshima in the Peace Memorial Park, tentatively scheduled for May 21. Yoon will become the first Korean president to visit the memorial park.

Kim said the visit of the two leaders will serve as a gesture of comfort to the Koreans who lost their lives in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the past, and to prepare for a future of peace and prosperity together.

Right after returning home on May 21, Yoon will hold a summit with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. There will be a joint press conference and dinner. The following day, he will have a Korea-EU summit with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, followed by a joint press release and an official dinner. Before departing for Japan, Yoon will hold a summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday.