Japan, US, S.Korea defense chiefs discuss security cooperation

Defense chiefs of Japan, the United States and South Korea have discussed shared regional security concerns and measures to implement trilateral cooperation in that area.

Japan's Defense Minister Kihara Minoru, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korea's Defense Minister Shin Won-sik held talks for about one hour on Sunday in Singapore.

The three leaders issued a joint statement after the talks.

They expressed concern about North Korea's attempt to launch a military satellite on May 27, and agreed to urge Pyongyang to immediately cease all further destabilizing activities.

The defense leaders decided to step up cooperation by conducting new trilateral exercises this summer in multiple domains, including ground, maritime and air forces.

They also decided to conduct a trilateral tabletop exercise to discuss how to respond to regional security issues.

They agreed to institutionalize trilateral security cooperation, including information sharing and trilateral exercises, to contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

The three officials reaffirmed that they "strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the waters of the Indo-Pacific," keeping in mind China's increased maritime activities.

They agreed on the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and called for the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues.