Japan, US, S.Korea agree to resume joint military drills to counter N.Korea

The defense ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea have held in-person talks on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, an Asian security forum in Singapore.

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met in the first 3-way meeting since the inauguration of South Korea's new government and the first such face-to-face meeting since November 2019.

In a joint statement that followed, the defense chiefs strongly condemned North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches, saying they clearly violate UN Security Council resolutions.

They said the three countries share concerns that North Korea's development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles are a serious threat to international peace and stability.

The defense chiefs agreed to resume joint exercises, which have been suspended since December 2017, to deal with North Korea's missile launches.

With China in mind, they also said they strongly oppose any attempts to change the status quo through force and raise tensions in the Indo-Pacific, and emphasized the importance of peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.

It is the first time Taiwan has been mentioned in a joint statement of the 3-way defense ministerial meeting.