US, Japanese and South Korean officials will meet today to discuss North Korea. The topic of the meeting relates to
US, Japanese and South Korean officials will meet today to discuss North Korea.
The topic of the meeting relates to signs of continued North Korean nuclear testing and hopes to plan a coordinated response to these concerns. Engagement with North Korea from the three states has largely been at a standstill since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This standstill is unlikely to change due to North Korea’s support of Russia—having followed its lead in recognizing the pro-Russian breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics as independent states.
With Russia’s diplomatic isolation from western nations becoming increasingly similar to North Korea’s situation, both countries are likely to increase their ties further as opposed to engaging with the West. This trend can be seen in emerging reports that Russia plans to buy North Korean artillery and that North Korean workers may be sent to repair vital infrastructure in the Russian occupied territories of Ukraine.
Due to the scarce opportunities for engagement and negotiation, the meeting participants are likely to pursue tighter sanctions in response to nuclear testing. While a weakening of Russia due to reversals in Ukraine could provide engagement opportunities for North Korea, this would stand in competition with China—a preferred partner for Pyongyang.