U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Defense Kim Kwan Jin, and Japan Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister of Defense Shu Watanabe shared views on the regional security situation and reaffirmed the value of trilateral defense cooperation at their meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 2, 2012.
The three ministers concurred that North Korea's continued provocations including its sinking of the ROK corvette CHEONAN and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2010, and its missile launch in April 2012, pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia, and the world. North Korea needs to understand that it will achieve nothing by threats or by provocations, and that such behavior will only deepen its international isolation.
The three ministers reaffirmed the April 16, 2012 Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council, demanding that North Korea comply with its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, including that it abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. They welcomed that the Security Council made clear its determination to take action in the event of a further North Korean launch or nuclear test. The ministers reaffirmed that North Korea’s provocative behavior threatens all three countries and will be met with solidarity from all three countries. They agreed to continue to reinforce trilateral policy coordination in order to deter North Korean provocations.
The three ministers affirmed the importance of trilateral collaboration for regional peace and stability, and they decided to expand the scope of this collaboration that includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, protecting the freedom of navigation, and non-proliferation. They also decided to pursue Defense Ministerial trilateral meetings at the Shangri-La Dialogue in the future.