Top national security officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea have reaffirmed their cooperation toward denuclearizing North Korea.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the Secretary General of Japan's National Security Secretariat, Kitamura Shigeru, and South Korea's National Security Office Director Suh Hoon met on Friday at the US Naval Academy in the US state of Maryland. It was their first in-person meeting since US President Joe Biden took office.
The White House released a statement after the meeting, which says the officials consulted on the US review of its North Korea policy.
The statement says, "The national security advisors shared their concerns about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and reaffirmed their commitment to address and resolve these issues through concerted trilateral cooperation towards denuclearization."
The statement says the officials agreed on the need to cooperate in order to strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
The Biden administration says it will soon complete its review of its North Korea policy. Washington has said it is prepared to deal with Pyongyang through some form of diplomacy.
The officials also discussed the importance of swiftly resolving the abductions of foreign nationals by North Korea, as well as combatting COVID-19 and climate change.
The statement says Japan and South Korea "underscored the importance of their bilateral ties and trilateral cooperation to the security of our citizens, the region and the world."