The United States, Japan and South Korea on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to work together on North Korea’s denuclearization and other regional threats.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who held talks in Tokyo with her counterparts, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and South Korea’s Choi Jong-kun, said their alliance remains a “lynchpin of peace, security and prosperity.” The officials reaffirmed the importance of respecting international law, including maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, and opposed any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and in the Taiwan Strait.
“When countries take actions that run counter to the United States’ interests or that threatens our partners and allies, we will not let those challenges go unanswered,” Sherman said. The United States and Japan have raised concern about China’s pressing its claims to contested areas in the South China Sea and Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls Diaoyu.
“It is important for the international community to unite and raise voice against (China’s) unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and I hope to cooperate among the three countries,” Mori said. Choi repeatedly welcomed the significance of holding the trilateral talks and said he hoped to have them held regularly for “close communication” among the three countries [SF GATE].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WJHL.COM
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