South Korea, US, Japan issue declaration as tensions rise with North Korea, Beijing

The leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea agreed to take decisive steps to address the North Korean nuclear threat, but indirectly warned Beijing of security-related issues in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan. .

US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met on the side of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia on November 13.

It has been four months since the three leaders last met at the NATO Summit in Spain in June.

The talks lasted only 15 minutes, but the Phnom Penh Statement on the Tripartite Partnership for the Indo-Pacific was released. announced Then comes amid North Korea’s frequent nuclear tests and strained US-China tensions.

In the statement, the leaders reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to strengthening extended deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, shared information on North Korea’s missiles in real-time, and shared information on the three governments on economic security. agreed to initiate dialogue between

Epoch Times photo
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (left) and South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol (right) attend the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Phnom Penh on November 12, 2022. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP via Getty Images)

South Korea’s first clear message to contain Beijing

The statement was not only directed at North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, but also warned against aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly Taiwan, but did not mention Beijing. .

“Leaders strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo of the Indo-Pacific maritime area through illegal maritime claims, militarization of landfills, coercive activities, etc.,” read the joint statement.

“Prime Minister Kishida, President Yoon, and President Biden emphasized that their basic position on Taiwan remains unchanged, and stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an essential element of security and prosperity in the international community. stated again.”

With Chinese President Xi Jinping repeatedly stating his intention to “unify” Taiwan, it is rare for the South Korean government, the United States and Japan to take a unanimous position on the Taiwan issue.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo said it was the first time South Korea had sent a clear message to check on China. editorial November 14th.

Epoch Times photo
Members of the People’s Liberation Army look through binoculars with the Taiwanese frigate Lanyang in the background during a military exercise on August 5, 2022. (Lin Jian/Xinhua via AP, File)

According to the editorial, the South Korean government has been ambiguous in the past because it relied on the United States for security and China for economic support amid tensions between the United States and China. The Yun administration is in a similar situation, but recent developments have forced it to take a stance, it said.

“A clear message of cooperation and containment of China between South Korea, the United States and Japan weighs heavily on South Korea’s diplomacy. I decided to do it,” read the editorial.

“South Korea has realized that the only way to confront North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats is to strengthen tripartite cooperation between South Korea, the United States and Japan,” he said.

“Instead of stopping North Korea’s madness, China appears to be defending North Korea and forcing South Korea to make such a choice.”

Beijing brings South Korea closer to US

Another Korean media Dong-A Ilbo It was published An editorial dated November 14 said that the North Korean port in Beijing would only become the target of a “triangular security” between South Korea, the US and Japan.

The White House has long hoped to strengthen the “iron triangle” with Japan and South Korea and create a strong front line in Northeast Asia to contain Beijing.

SA-5 missile
Fragments of a North Korean missile, identified as part of a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile, salvaged from South Korean waters, at the Ministry of Defense in Seoul, South Korea, November 9, 2022. (Yonhap (via Reuters)

“North Korea’s fierce provocations [made South Korea] Set aside concerns over diplomatic tensions with China, the historic confrontation between South Korea and Japan, and trade issues between South Korea and the United States, bringing South Korea closer to the United States.

“The South Korean government also appears to have abandoned its previous expectations of China and is gradually joining the United States and Japan on a common front to contain China,” it said.

“Instead of punishing North Korea for its misdeeds, China acted as a shield. [for this] it is clear. “

biden in cambodia
President Joe Biden (left) sits next to US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken (left) during a tripartite meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 13, 2022. right). (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

economic security and prosperity

The leaders of the three countries also emphasized the importance of trilateral cooperation to enhance the economic security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and the world at large.

“They will continue to secure supply chains, make them secure and resilient, promote reliable data-free flow, strengthen trilateral, regional and like-minded cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, We will protect critical infrastructure, strengthen resilient and diverse supply chains for critical minerals, and raise the environmental, social and governance standards of the sector.”

“The three countries will work together to advance the innovation and deployment of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum information science and technology, biotechnology and advanced communications including the use of open RAN technology.”

The Leaders also pledged to cooperate closely through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

Lisa Bian


Lisa Bian is a Korea-based writer for The Epoch Times, focusing on Korean society, its culture, and international relations.

Angela Bright