Japan, U.S., S. Korea arranging summit talks to bolster deterrence against N. Korea

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Thursday.

A summit meeting between Japan, the United States and South Korea is likely to be held in mid-November with a view to strengthening deterrence against North Korea, according to government sources.

The three countries are arranging to hold the trilateral summit talks on the sidelines of international conferences to be held in Southeast Asia from Nov. 10-16, the sources said.

They aim to demonstrate their solidarity and enhance deterrence against Pyongyang, which has been launching ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate and increasingly seems set to conduct its seventh nuclear test.

Should a summit meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol take place this month, it would be the first such meeting since June of this year.

The last meeting of the three countries’ leaders was held after an interval of about five years.

The leaders intend to share their sense of urgency and enhance security cooperation by holding a series of meetings in quick succession, according to the sources.

The three countries have frequently conducted joint drills, including bilateral ones, demonstrating their deterrence and countermeasure capabilities in a visible manner. At the trilateral summit meetings, the three countries are expected to confirm that they will strengthen such efforts and intensify their pressure on North Korea.

After visiting Cambodia for a gathering associated with an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, the three leaders are slated to visit Indonesia for a summit of the Group of 20 major economies.

Japan and South Korea will also seek to hold bilateral meetings during this time. Yet it is unclear whether a meeting between the leaders of the two countries will take place given that there is no prospect of progress on the issue of former wartime requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, the sources said.