Seoul, Aug 15 (EFE).- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday called for strengthening security cooperation with the United States and Japan, and to adopt a system to share real-time information on North Korean missiles.
“In order to fundamentally block North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Japan must closely cooperate on reconnaissance assets and share North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles data in real time,” Yoon said.
The South Korean president made the remarks during an address on the occasion of Liberation Day that marks the end of Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean peninsula from 1910 to the end of World War II in 1945.
Relations between Seoul and Tokyo, marred by historical developments like this, have improved significantly since Yoon came to power, and especially since the most recent agreement to compensate South Korean victims of colonization.
“Korea and Japan are now partners who share universal values and pursue common interests,” Yoon said, sending a fresh message of rapprochement at the ceremony held at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University.
“As partners that cooperate on security and the economy, Korea and Japan will be able to jointly contribute to peace and prosperity across the globe while collaborating and exchanging in a future-oriented manner,” he added, according to Yonhap news agency.
The South Korean president’s message also served to send a deterrent message to its northern neighbor, which in recent weeks has increased its belligerent tone.
North Korea and South Korea remain technically still at war, given that the Korean War (1950-53) that divided the country concluded in an armistice but did not result in a peace treaty.
“The significance of ROK-U.S.-Japan trilateral security cooperation is increasingly growing on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” he said, using the acronym for South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.
The three countries have been strengthening their alliance, and are scheduled to hold a trilateral summit this week in the US, during which North Korea is expected to be a central focus of discussions.
The summit will “set a new milestone in trilateral cooperation contributing to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Yoon.
Nevertheless, the president sent a conciliatory message to Pyongyang, reiterating the offer to help strengthen its economy, among other things, in return for steps towards denuclearization.
The Korean peninsula has been witnessing heightened tensions in the wake of the numerous weapons tests that Pyongyang has conducted over the past one year, including that of its most sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missiles so far.
More missile tests and rocket launches cannot be ruled out against the imminent US-South Korea joint military drills, which North Korea considers as a simulation of an invasion of its territory. EFE