The United States, Japan, and South Korea have committed to “convincing trilateral cooperation” for the denuclearization of North Korea.
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan held a rare face-to-face meeting with colleagues from South Korea and Japan, Xu Hoon and Shigeru Kitamura at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
They said in a joint statement that “they share common concerns with North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs” and “agreed that the international community, including North Korea, must fully implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, prevent proliferation and cooperate. Strengthen deterrence and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
When talking about Biden’s other key priorities, security officials also discussed the fight against Covid-19 and climate change, as well as ways to restore democracy in Myanmar.
This meeting is the final stage of the Biden administration’s review of how to deal with North Korea, after Donald Trump and the strongman Kim Jong Un conducted unusual personal diplomacy.
The former president had three meetings with Kim Jong Un. Trump called him “fall in love.” This was a diplomatic proposal that eased tensions, but did not reach a permanent agreement.
Biden severely criticized Trump’s meeting, saying that he legitimized one of the cruelest leaders in the world, but also expressed his willingness to accept diplomacy.
It is widely expected that Biden administration officials will support the resumption of low-level dialogue, rather than a high-risk, high-dramatic summit.
After Pyongyang recently tested missiles deemed by US officials to be ballistic missiles, Biden also warned North Korea that the consequences of violating UN Security Council resolutions will be borne by North Korea.
A US official said that Sullivan is still delivering speeches to Japan and South Korea about the global semiconductor shortage because the supply chain has been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lack of semiconductors has forced some automakers to cut production, and it seems to be spreading to a variety of electronic products.
In the pandemic and Sullivan’s first trilateral relationship since taking office, the Annapolis talks marked the rare personal diplomacy of the Biden administration.