Japan, South Korea, and the United States aim to show unity towards North Korea
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Defense Ministers of America, Japan, and South Korea all issued a joint statement aimed at North Korea. This is in relation to North Korea and its increasing saber rattling, modernization of its weapons program, testing weapons over Northern Japan, and the growing threat of nuclear expansion. Therefore, all three Defense Ministers aimed to show unity and strength during this difficult period.
A joint statement stated that North Korea posed “an unprecedented and grave threat…(based on) North Korea’s continued provocative actions.”
Of course, it is more complex because the current leader of South Korea, President Moon Jae-in, is open to dialogue and reducing tensions if possible. Indeed, he stated openly that he opposes a war on the Korean Peninsula. Hence, it is obvious that America and Japan seek to put collective pressure on the current administration of Moon.
In the past, the leader of South Korea stated, “No one should be allowed to decide on a military action on the Korean Peninsula without South Korean agreement.”
He further said, “Our government will do everything it can to prevent war from breaking out.”
Despite this, South Korea understands the need to show unity even if behind the scenes the leader is equally worried by some of the rhetoric of President Donald Trump aimed at North Korea. Yes, South Korea fully understands that the only external military threat to national security is North Korea. Similarly, the political elites in South Korea understand the importance of America in relation to the threat of North Korea. However, Moon is independent-minded and he hopes to solve the crisis if it is obtainable given the extreme rhetoric of North Korea in recent times.
Turning back to the meeting between the United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and the South Korean Defense Minister Song Young Moo, then all three agreed to show outward unity. Hence, a joint statement stated, “The three ministers condemned, in the strongest terms, North Korea’s continued provocative actions…The ministers called on North Korea to abandon its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”
It remains doubtful that North Korea will take serious note of the statement ushered by America, Japan, and South Korea unless North Korea believes it is in the interest to calm the crisis down. At the same time, it is known that behind the scenes both China and the Russian Federation are seeking a compromise between all vested parties.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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