The United States and Japan will hold a “two-plus-two” meeting of foreign and defence ministers today in Washington.
Discussions will focus on how to better coordinate defence policies, addressing security threats to American and Japanese strategic interests. Questions of strategic and tactical defence policy will be especially relevant today in light of North Korea’s most recent test of a possible new short-range or guided cruise missile.
Since the collapse of US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s most recent summit in Vietnam, the latter has attempted to escalate pressure on the American president by resuming visits to military units and weapons sites. The Japanese government has yet to officially comment on the recent tests, but expect today’s talks to gravitate in part to the topic of how the US and its allies will approach North Korea going forward.
Solutions likely to be discussed today will range from attempting to reengage the rogue country through another diplomatic gathering, to re-escalating military tensions with a resumption of war games. Tokyo, especially, would like to avoid military escalation, but the path to renewed negotiation, while more likely to be endorsed, will prove difficult, given the recent backslide in talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.