Senior officials from South Korea and Japan meet in Seoul today for the first bilateral security talks between the countries
Senior officials from South Korea and Japan meet in Seoul today for the first bilateral security talks between the countries since March 2018.
Today’s meeting comes following trilateral talks on Friday in Washington, where the three sides discussed holding regular missile defense and anti-submarine military exercises to deter and respond to North Korea’s “nuclear and missile threats.” This meeting came a day after Pyongyang test-launched its first solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile—a nuclear payload-carrying armament notable for its easier ability to be hidden and transported and faster launch time relative to other types of ICBMs.
The talks reflect a further thawing of relations between Tokyo and Seoul and demonstrate an increased willingness to collaborate bilaterally with one another, and multilaterally with the United States, in security. Mutual concerns over North Korea’s nuclear activities and Chinese challenges to a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific have incentivized both sides to put aside historical grievances and cooperate militarily. In the medium term, this benefits the United States, which desires internal unity among its allies and will likely pour over into relations in non-security areas, such as Japan and South Korea’s economic relationship, for example, in the semiconductor trade.