South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are sending a clear message with their coordination on policy towards North Korea.
That's Wendy Sherman, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State following the trilateral talks with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts despite some recent friction between the two Asian allies.
Sherman is expected in Seoul this evening after a two-day stay in Tokyo stressed also stressed the shoulder-to-shoulder approach to their North Korea policy and that should send a critical message to North Korea.
For some analysis, I want to bring in Dr. Go Myong-hyun, senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Dr. Go, thanks for joining us tonight.
The three-way meeting between the senior diplomats came despite the new low in bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo over President Moon's last-minute call-off of a possible visit to Tokyo for the Olympics in the wake of some extremely inappropriate remarks by a senior Japanese official at its embassy here in Seoul. I suppose it underlines the importance the three countries, especially the U.S., I'm sure. What do you believe was discussed during this meeting?
The State Department's readout following the meeting states that the three diplomats discussed the shared commitment of the U.S., South Korea and Japan to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and their intent to address the threat posed by the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the DPRK - the official name of North Korea.
Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and addressing the threat posed by DPRK's nuclear programs - why are they differentiated here? How are they different?
From North Korea's point of view, does the fact that Seoul, Washington and Tokyo met for close coordination on their North Korea policy come as a critical message? How do you think it's being received by Kim Jong-un?
One of the first group of people the U.S. deputy secretary met as she kicked off her eight-day Asia tour in Japan was the families of abduction victims - these are Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 80s. What does this say about the Biden administration's policy priorities regarding North Korea?
During their trilateral meeting, they also pledged to work together toward promoting "peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific" based upon their shared values, maintain an inclusive, free and open Indo-Pacific, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Obviously, this part of the discussion is a message to China. What are your thoughts on this?
Dr. Go Myong-hyun, senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies thank you for your time and insights. We appreciate it.