In a bid to ensure global nuclear security, the US, South Korea, and Japan are set to hold trilateral talks as an opening salvo for the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 in Washington, the White House reported.
In a program briefer released by the White House Wednesday, it was revealed that US President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The three leaders will discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, especially disarming North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
It can be recalled that over the past months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been threatening its nemesis, the South Korea and its allies, of possible nuclear attack should the latter meddle with its internal affairs and insist on imposing sanctions from the United Nations for its nuclear program. As reported by Reuters, the highly-secretive country has been conducting a series of test on its ballistic missiles, despite sanctions from the UN.
Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications told reporters Wednesday that nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and programs would be the central agenda of the trilateral meeting between the three leaders come morning tomorrow, Thursday. The Nuclear Security Summit, which is slated Thursday and Friday, is a regular global event initiated by Obama in 2009 to ensure nuclear security in the world.
“Insofar as we continue to face the threat from North Korean provocations from North Korea, we have to take necessary measures to protect ourselves and our allies. And that’s why, for instance, we’re in discussions about the deployment of additional missile defense so that we’re able to guard against that threat,” Rhodes said as quoted by the White House media center.
Rhodes said it is important for the US to address the threats posted by North Korea against the South or Japan, for that matter, because it also concerns the United States in some ways. He said whatever threat posted by North Korea against its allies is a threat against the United States, and thus, measures that need to be done.
“Bottom line for us is that we believe it’s good for the Republic of Korea, good for Japan, good for the United States, and good for the world when not only do we have good relations with our allies but our allies have good relations with each other,” Rhodes added.
Dan Kritenbrink, NSC Senior Director for Asian Affairs also echoed Rhodes’ statement over the US’ involvement in the current tension on the Korean peninsula. Kritenbrink noted that the US and its two major allies in the Asia Pacific—Japan and South Korea—share a common interest in promoting lasting peace in the region.
To know more about this year’s Summit, information is here.