S. Korea, U.S., Japan to hold foreign ministerial meeting in Hawaii next week

February 4, 2022

The foreign ministers of South Korea, the United States and Japan will meet in Hawaii next week to discuss ways to bolster their cooperation against North Korea’s increasing missile threats, their respective offices said Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Chung Eui-yong and Hayashi Yoshimasa, in Honolulu on Feb. 12, according to the state department.

“Secretary Blinken will host Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong for a U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea Trilateral Ministerial Meeting to deepen our cooperation in addressing threats from the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and confronting 21st century challenges together across the globe,” it said in a press release.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

Blinken will also have a separate meeting with Chung and Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, it noted.

The trilateral meeting comes amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following the North’s recent spate of missile launches, which the U.S. has repeatedly condemned as a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The announcement was made just hours before the U.N. Security Council convenes an emergency meeting on North Korea at the request of the U.S., underscoring Washington’s commitment to put on a united front with its key Asian allies against the rising threat from the recalcitrant regime.

On Sunday, Pyongyang launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) into the East Sea, marking the country’s seventh show of force this year and its longest-range missile test since the test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in November 2017.

The missile capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam was launched days after the Kim Jong-un regime made a thinly veiled threat to suspend its yearslong moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests amid a deadlock in nuclear talks with the U.S.