The leaders of the three countries held a trilateral meeting during the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. They warned that an atomic test by North Korea will have a “strong and firm” response
< /p>U.S. President Joe Biden looks on as he holds a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on February 13. November 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The United States, Japan and South Korea pledged on Sunday a “strong and firm” response to any nuclear test of the Pyongyang regime.
The leaders of the three countries met in Pnom Penh, where the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Following a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit, the leaders issued a joint statement in which US PresidentJoe Biden pledged to deploy “the full range of capabilities, including nuclear ” to defend their allies.
Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean President b>Yoon Suk-yeol, “reaffirm that a nuclear test by North Korea will be followed by a strong and firm response from the international community”.
The three countries “will work together to strengthen their deterrence capacity ”, reads the note.
Biden during the trilateral meeting with the leaders of South Korea and Japan (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/file)
“President Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to defend Japan and the Republic of Korea (official name of South Korea) is unwavering and is backed by a wide range of capabilities,including nuclear,” the statement said.
North Korea carried out a series of launches in early November, including from a ballistic missile that landed near South Korean territorial waters.
Another North Korean ballistic missile flew over Japan in October.
Pyongyang justified its actions by the “aggressive and provocative” attitude of Seoul and Washington, which were simultaneously carrying out the largest air military maneuvers in their history.
South Korea and the United States have been warning for months that North Korea is willing to carry out a new nuclear test at any time. It would be the seventh in its history.
The statement stressed that “the path for dialogue remains open” and urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table.
Biden is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Bali on Monday on the sidelines of the >G20, with the intention of asking him to convince Pyongyang not to go any further.
War in Ukraine and China
Biden took advantage of his attendance at the East Asia summit in Cambodia to meet with his allies in the region and make a common front against the war in Ukraine < /b>and the hegemony of China.
During the summit, Biden condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stated that the United States The United States will compete “vigorously” with China and speak out about human rights abusesin the Asian giant, while maintaining open communication to avoid a conflict, according to a statement from the White House.
The US president added that he considers it very important to maintain stability and peace in Taiwan, a de facto independent territory that is an ally of the United States and that Beijing considers a rebel province.
< /p>US President Joe Biden (left) is greeted by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen upon arrival at the ASEAN Summit Gala Dinner in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. November 12, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
In addition, Biden called for more pressure on the Burmese military junta implement what is known as the ASEAN Five Points of Consensus, which includes cessation of violence, release political prisoners and allow democracy to return.
He also defended international legality for the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Beijing maintains a sovereign dispute with several countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, and expressed concern about the threat from North Korea and its missile tests.
Following the summit, Biden also met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albenese, discussing their common interests in the Indo-Pacific, where both countries have an alliance of security jointly with the UK known as AUKUS, which has been criticized by China.
Talking to reporters, Albanese highlighted the “close relationship” that he has with Biden, with whom he discussed the AUKUS and the importance of measures on climate change and supply chains.
Still, the division became palpable at the summit, where the region's leaders did not agree on a final joint communiqué because Russia opposed “unacceptable language” about the war in Ukraine, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov , after attending the meeting.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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