US Defense Chief to undertake trilateral security discussions with Japan, S Korea

During a call with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed security cooperation and challenges presented by North Korea's weapons programmes, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

"Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Suh Wook and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo to reaffirm the importance of trilateral security cooperation in addressing global security challenges and threats posed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea weapons of mass destruction and missile programmes," Kirby said.

During their meeting, the three presidents agreed to hold an in-person Trilateral Defense Ministerial at a later date to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to address recent North Korean missile launches, according to Kirby. Kirby noted that the United States' commitment to Japan and South Korea's defence is "ironclad."

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