US, South Korea, Japan boost military ties in response to North Korea threat

US army soldiers take part in a military exercise near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju on Feb 7, 2016.
US army soldiers take part in a military exercise near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju on Feb 7, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The top military officers from the United States, South Korea and Japan said they agreed at a meeting on Wednesday (Feb 10) to step up information-sharing and co-ordination of security efforts in light of increasing North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, met in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, head of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, while Army General Lee Sun-Jin, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined them by video teleconference. He remained in Seoul to “maintain readiness posture in the peninsula” after the recent actions.

The three top brass agreed in a joint statement to firmly respond to Pyongyang’s actions through “trilateral information sharing” and “to co-ordinate further on mutual security issues to enhance peace and stability in the region.” 

The three chiefs of defence stated that North Korea's fourth nuclear test and long range missile launch were in direct violation of United Nations resolutions and were viewed as "serious provocations against the international community". They also agreed to increase participation in military exercises and other activities to deepen security ties.