US, South Korean, Japanese security advisers meet to discuss North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) -The national security advisers of the United States, South Korea and Japan are meeting in Seoul on Friday and Saturday to discuss North Korea and other global issues as they step up trilateral cooperation, South Korea’s presidential office said.

Seoul’s national security adviser, Cho Tae-yong, held bilateral talks with Japan’s Takeo Akiba and the U.S.’ Jake Sullivan on Friday, during which they agreed to boost cooperation to curb North Korea’s nuclear threat and missile provocations, according to South Korea’s presidential office.

They will hold a trilateral meeting on Saturday.

The three countries condemned North Korea’s launch of its first reconnaissance satellite last month for violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Pyongyang has dismissed criticism and said the move would enhance its capabilities to monitor the military activities of the United States and its allies.

The row has fractured an inter-Korean military accord designed to curb the risk of inadvertent clashes between the Koreas, which remain technically at war.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Wednesday the advisers would discuss regional issues of mutual concern, “particularly in the security environment” as they seek to build on their leaders’ agreement at Camp David to deepen cooperation.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has made it a priority to mend ties with Japan since taking office in May 2022, and to restore trilateral security cooperation with the United States as North Korea ramps up its weapons programs and openly threatens the South.

The United States and South Korea will also hold a separate meeting on Saturday to discuss expanding cooperation in advanced technologies such as chips, batteries, clean energy and artificial intelligence, Yoon’s office said.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Additional reporting by Hyunsu Yim and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Ed Davies, Cynthia Osterman and Kim Coghill)