A joint statement was released on Thursday to “condemn” North Korea‘s most recent missile launches from the United States and its close allies Japan and South Korea.
The statement added that the launches “clearly violate numerous Security Council resolutions” and “demonstrate the threat (North Korea’s)… illegitimate weapons of mass annihilation and strategic missile programs pose to the region.”
Shortly after Pyongyang warned of a “inevitable” retaliation to ongoing US-South Korea joint military maneuvers, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles, according to South Korea’s military on Thursday.
As President Joe Biden’s administration works to bolster allies in a region tested by North Korea and an expansionist China, the trilateral declaration highlighted the warming relations between Japan and South Korea, a key objective of its foreign strategy.
“The United States reaffirms unequivocally its ironclad security commitments to both Japan and the ROK,” as South Korea is formally called, the statement read.
Sullivan met with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Thursday in Tokyo “to further strengthen trilateral cooperation, including through lock-step coordination in responding to the threats” from North Korea, according to the report.
The phrase “cooperation would not be shaken by provocations” was stressed in the declaration.