The top diplomats from South Korea, the US and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to dealing with growing military exchanges between Russia and North Korea, calling them a serious global threat at a gathering on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in San Francisco.
Foreign Minister Park Jin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa discussed coordinating policy on North Korea, going over steps taken to deliver on what the three agreed at Camp David in August, the Korean Foreign Ministry said. The summit at the US presidential retreat focused on a joint security pledge to counteract common threats including the North’s nuclear ambitions.
The three-way meeting Tuesday took place a day before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit brings together world leaders for three days. The three nations have underscored the dangers of a weapons deal where Pyongyang obtains technologies and Moscow restocks supplies for its war in Ukraine.
“Looking around the world, there is so much work for us to do together,” Blinken said at the get-together. During an Asia tour last week, the top US diplomat sat down with Park and Kamikawa separately to discuss responding to actions that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Park struck a similar chord, describing the three nations as “like-minded countries” in the “rules-based order” that is facing multiple challenges. “Strengthening cooperation among like-minded countries is more important than ever, which is why the three of us are here.”
Park also conveyed his concerns over rights conditions for North Koreans. Some North Korean defectors in China were recently sent back home, prompting the top South Korean diplomat to reach out to his Chinese counterpart.
Seoul has said it will take advantage of its two-year UN role starting next year to help make progress on promoting peace and peacekeeping, including the rights issue, as one of the 10 nonpermanent members of the Security Council. The powerful UN body has recently seen sanctions on North Korea voted down because of Russian and Chinese veto.