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Korea-US-Japan summit builds strong foundation for trilateral cooperation: Amb. Cho

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 25, 2023 - 09:44

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South Korean Ambassador to the United States Cho Hyun-dong speaks while meeting with reporters in Washington on Aug. 24. (Yonhap) South Korean Ambassador to the United States Cho Hyun-dong speaks while meeting with reporters in Washington on Aug. 24. (Yonhap)

The recently held three-way summit between the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States has built an unprecedentedly strong foundation for trilateral cooperation that will help develop their ties under any circumstances, South Korea's ambassador to the US Cho Hyun-dong said Thursday.

Cho also insisted that the trilateral summit has created a small multilateral forum that he said is stronger or more powerful than other regional gatherings, including the Quad, a grouping of the US, Japan, India and Australia, and AUKUS, a three-way security partnership between Australia, Britain and the US

"The cooperation mechanism between South Korea, Japan and the US has been upgraded to a small multilateral consultative body of the highest level," Cho said while meeting with reporters in Washington.

"I believe the Korea-US-Japan (grouping) is more powerful than other regional, small multilateral bodies, namely the Quad and AUKUS, that the US sees as very important," he added.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to a range of steps aimed at boosting their countries' trilateral cooperation at their historic summit held Friday at Camp David.

Those steps include holding annual three-way meetings between the countries' leaders, as well as defense, foreign, commerce and treasury ministers.

"The agreement to hold regular meetings at ministerial-levels, including national security advisers, foreign and defense ministers, as well as commerce and treasury ministers, is something that is hard to find in other small multilateral consultative bodies," said Cho.

"The summit was a meeting that drew a blueprint for three-way cooperation between South Korea, the US and Japan in the future. It is meaningful in that has created a foundation to stably and fundamentally develop South Korea-US-Japan cooperation even if conditions change in the future," he added.

On the failed launch of a North Korean space rocket on Thursday (Korea time), the top South Korean diplomat in the US said the launch marked a "clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions" regardless of its success or failure.

"We must continue to stay alert and prepare for additional provocations in that North Korea continues to make reckless provocations," he told the meeting.

"Not only South Korea and the US but also South Korea, the US and Japan will work closely together systematically against any North Korean provocation," added Cho. "The three countries will also lead international community's stern and effective measures (against the North Korean launch), including strong condemnation of the launch and additional sanctions against North Korea." (Yonhap)