Same voices on the North’s provocations

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

Same voices on the North’s provocations

President Yoon Suk-yeol held separate bilateral talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, as well as a tripartite meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Phnom Penh on Sunday. The gathering mostly centered on joint actions to cope with North Korean ballistic missile provocations and an impending nuclear test.

The three summits have reaffirmed the importance of a trilateral alliance to uphold the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. After the trilateral summit, leaders of the three countries issued a joint statement, vowing reinforcement in U.S. extended deterrence against the North Korean threat. The most practical response to the North threat for South Korea is to leverage on the extended deterrence and stronger security alliance among the three nations. The Democratic Party (DP) must fully support a stronger South Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance in a bipartisan manner instead of using it as a means of political attack as the alliance is essential to ready against the mounting nuclear threat from North Korea.

In the three-party talks in Cambodia, President Yoon, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also discussed a joint response to cryptocurrency hacking by North Korea which is suspected of using the money to advance its nuclear weapons. Working-level discussions must follow the summit agreement. The actions must send a strong message to Pyongyang that its provocations will only strengthen the alliance of Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.

During their bilateral talks, Biden assured that Washington will consider Korean companies’ contribution to the U.S. economy when making amends, if possible, for the Inflation Reduction Act.

Yoon’s separate talks with Kishida after a brief encounter in New York two months ago also raise hopes for improvement of Seoul-Tokyo ties stalemated for nearly six years. Their two meetings have not gone as far as touching on the sticky issue of wartime labor compensation, but increased dialogue for security could help bring about some positive developments.

President Yoon was heading to Bali, Indonesia, for his debut on the G20 Summit. He could meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines to ask for a constructive role of Beijing in containing provocations from Pyongyang. He would likely emphasize that Korea-China economic cooperation remains important despite the changes in the global value chains.

Yoon’s earlier visits to Europe and America had been blemished by controversies. The DP accused the president of causing a “diplomatic disaster.” President Yoon must not let personal issues get in the way of his presidential role this time.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)