November 14, 2022 11:12
The leaders of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan pledged to put up a united front against the North Korean nuclear threat and China.
In a joint statement Sunday they vowed to coordinate their response to the North Korean nuclear threat, global supply chains, energy and security issues and climate change.
"Trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan that began with responses to North Korea's nuclear threat is growing into a cooperative framework playing a much wider role including a concerted response to China," a government official here said.
President Yoon Suk-yeol sat down with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Their joint statement hints heavily at curbing China's hegemonic ambitions in the region, referencing a "safe" Indo-Pacific region, partnerships, economic prosperity and technological leadership. But it also touched on diverse range of topics such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and climate change responses.
"The Leaders strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in waters of the Indo-Pacific," they said without naming names. "The three countries will stand as one against economic coercion and in favor of sustainable and transparent lending practices."
Meanwhile, first lady Kim Keon-hee, who is accompanying the president, visited the family of a child in the Cambodian capital who is suffering from heart disease.
The Cambodian government organized a program for the first ladies of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex. But a presidential office source said, "The first lady heard about the sick child and decided to visit him instead."
On Monday, Yoon arrived in Bali, Indonesia to attend the G20 meeting which runs until Thursday, but he returns to Seoul on Tuesday night.
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