South Korea will cooperate more with US, Japan if North’s threats continue

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Monday trilateral cooperation with the United States and Japan will grow stronger if North Korea’s threats increase.

He made the remark at a Cabinet meeting days after he took part in talks with the leaders of the Untied States and Japan where they agreed to deepen military and economic cooperation.

“The structure of the trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the United States and Japan will become more solid as North Korea’s provocation and threats increase,” Yoon said during the meeting which was televised live, heralding what he called the “opening of a new era” in the three countries’ relations.

The three-way partnership would develop into a strong framework to promote regional peace along with the AUKUS pact between the U.S., Britain and Australia, and the Quad grouping of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, Yoon said.

The summit at the Camp David presidential retreat was the first standalone meeting between the U.S. and Japan and South Korea, as they seek to project unity in the face of China’s growing power and nuclear threats from North Korea.

Yoon said the trilateral cooperation did not exclude other countries, and that it would contribute to freedom, peace and prosperity in the region and the world.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi, Ju-min Park and Jihoon Lee; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Stephen Coates)