S.Korea defense minister ready to speak with Japan on countering N.Korea

South Korea's defense minister says his country is ready to engage in active dialogue with Japan to strengthen their alliance with the United States to counter North Korea.

Lee Jong-sup delivered a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an Asian security forum meeting in Singapore, on Sunday.

He expressed deep concerns about North Korea's missile launches and a possible 7th nuclear test, saying its nuclear and missile development is beyond a threat.

Referring to defense cooperation with Japan, Lee pointed out there are many unresolved issues between the two countries.

But he said South Korea is ready to normalize security cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo and to strengthen trilateral cooperation with the US.

He said the defense cooperation with Japan will be centered around the North's nuclear and missile threats.
He added that the South will step up security cooperation through senior-level talks and sharing information as well as missile-attack warnings.

South Korea, Japan and the United States agreed on Saturday to resume joint exercises to deal with the North's ballistic missile launches.

South Korea has been working to strengthen the three-way alliance since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office last month.