U.S. meets with Japan, South Korea to discuss North Korea

The U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Washington last week to discuss North Korea's nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs.

The meeting to promote trilateral defense cooperation took place on April 17-18 and grew out of a trilateral summit hosted by President Barack Obama on March 25 in The Hague, Netherlands. The three countries reaffirmed that they refuse to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state and agreed to coordinate closely to deter North Korean provocations.

The U.S., Japan and South Korea reaffirmed the need for a coordinated response and close cooperation with the international community in relation to the security threat posted by North Korea's proliferation programs.

They also discussed the necessity of cooperating on non-traditional security issues. These issues include counterpiracy, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. The U.S., Japan and South Korea discussed additional ways they could cooperate in these areas.

Mark Lippert, the chief of staff for the secretary of defense, headed the delegation for the U.S. Hideshi Tokuchi, the director-general of the Japanese Defense Ministry's Defense Policy Bureau, and Yoo Jeh Seung, the South Korean deputy minister for policy of the Ministry of National Defense, headed the Japanese and South Korean delegations, respectively.