March 16, 2021 12:47
The U.S. has reiterated the importance of trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Japan just ahead of a visit to the two countries by two top U.S. officials this week.
In a press release Sunday about Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's first trip to Asia, the State Department stressed the need to strengthen trilateral cooperation.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is working to strengthen America's relationships with our allies, and the relationships between those allies," it said. "No relationship is more important than that between Japan and [South Korea]."
"The United States continues to promote expanded U.S.-Japan-[South Korea] cooperation to tackle COVID-19 and combat climate change, as well as reinvigorate trilateral cooperation on a broad range of global issues, including the denuclearization of North Korea."
"A robust and effective trilateral relationship between and among the United States, [South Korea], and Japan is critical for our joint security and interests in... promoting regional and global peace, security, and the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific and across the globe," it added.
Blinken and Austin are therefore expected to urge the fractious neighbors, who have been divided by real or imagined grievances for centuries, to try and mend their relations.
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