S.Korea-Japan Cooperation Is Needed More Than Ever

      June 30, 2022 13:10

      President Yoon Suk-yeol held a three-way summit on Wednesday with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain. It was the first trilateral summit since September of 2017. The three leaders agreed to a combined response to North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations and also apparently discussed ways to block the flow of funds into the North's weapons programs. Three-way cooperation had weakened due to former President Moon Jae-in's failed efforts to cozy up to North Korea and populist anti-Japanese sentiment. But now there is hope that things can return to an even keel.

      North Korea is preparing for its seventh nuclear test. The world order is being realigned due to the escalating conflict between the U.S. and China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, so North Korea, China and Russia will grow ever closer. That is why trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan must be strengthened to protect South Korea's national security and economy.

      Yoon told Kishida that Seoul and Tokyo should "resolve pending issues between [the two nations] as soon as possible," so they can "move forward in a future-oriented manner," and Kishida responded by saying the two sides should work to restore their relations to "a healthy state." The government is currently considering creating a joint fund involving businesses of both countries to resolve the issue of compensation for Korean forced laborers during World War II. Both sides must stop politicizing bilateral relations.

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