South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Japan is a partner sharing common values, extending an olive branch to his neighbor in a speech marking the end of Japanese colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula in 1945.
(Bloomberg) — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Japan is a partner sharing common values, extending an olive branch to his neighbor in a speech marking the end of Japanese colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula in 1945.
Yoon said at a Liberation Day speech on Tuesday that he sees a summit this week with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and US President Joe Biden as setting a new milestone of cooperation.
“Korea and Japan are now partners who share universal values and pursue common interests,” Yoon said.
The meeting Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in rural Maryland comes as warming ties between the Asian neighbors have led to levels of cooperation not seen in years. The three have agreed to share information about missile launches by the likes of North Korea and step up joint military exercises.
“In order to fundamentally block North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Japan must closely cooperate on reconnaissance assets and share North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles data in real time,” Yoon said.
At the summit, the three leaders are likely to discuss ways to further enhance security ties, express concern about maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait and confer on securing supply chains for crucial items such as semiconductors that are less dependent on China.
Yoon has backed hawkish security policies in line with those of Tokyo, which has helped the Biden administration build a united front among its partners on matters including counterbalancing China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and putting pressure on Russia for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Read: Japan, South Korea Move Closer on Security, Chips at Summit
Kishida and Yoon pledged this year to resume shuttle diplomacy that had broken down due to political acrimony and may be looking to have the three-way summit with the US become an annual event, officials in South Korea said.
Japan and South Korea are treading a delicate balance between China, their biggest trading partner, and the US, their main security ally. Their position has become even more difficult as Washington and Beijing squabble over a range of issues including technology, an alleged Chinese spy balloon being shot down over American skies and China’s partnership with Russia.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has raised security worries ahead of the summit by visiting plants making weapons designed to strike South Korea and Japan, which host the bulk of the US’s military personnel in the region.
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