Dempsey urges Japan and South Korea to collaborate on defense

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey urged Japan and South Korea to collaborate in defense efforts against North Korea at the National Institute for Defense Studies on Friday after a weeklong trip to Asia.

After visiting South Korea, Japan and China, Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was "very impressed" with the defense intelligence both Japan and South Korea have, but wished they would collaborate more closely to protect the region from recent threats from North Korea.

Dempsey told Japanese NIDS student and faculty that he was indeed "impressed" with the aerial, naval and land-based defense force of Japan's Air Defense Command headquarters. He commented on the high level of interoperability of its technology with that of the U.S.

"We have an exquisite common operating picture, and we have a great deal of capability that is working together on both sides," Dempsey said. "I also have that same relationship on the Korean Peninsula between U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea forces. [However] as I stand here today, with the North Korean threat very real, those two pictures are not combined."

In response to recent threats and missile testing from North Korea, Dempsey told NIDS students and faculty that the prolonged tension between the countries should be used as an "opportunity to become interoperable," particularly among allies in the region.

The U.S. Asia-Pacific strategy prioritizes a multilateral defense approach and Dempsey urged the two parties to consider alliance.