Immediate Release

Joint Statement of the 11th Defense Trilateral Talks

May 9, 2019

Defense Officials from the Republic of Korea (ROK), United States, and Japan met in the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul on May 9, 2019, for the eleventh Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT). Delegations led by the ROK Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Chung Sukhwan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, and the Japanese Deputy Director General for Defense Policy Takeshi Ishikawa engaged in consultations on regional security issues including North Korea and substantive ways to further trilateral security cooperation.

The three representatives anticipate that recent summits and declarations with North Korea will contribute towards the effort to achieve complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. The representatives shared their respective nation’s assessment of the second U.S.-North Korea Summit in Hanoi and pledged that ROK, U.S., and Japan will closely cooperate to support the current diplomatic efforts to establish complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. They also exchanged their views on the recent launches by North Korea, and confirmed that they would stay vigilant as defense authorities.

The three representatives reiterated their commitment to fully implement United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), until North Korea complies with its international obligations in accordance with UNSCRs. The three partner countries reaffirmed their commitment to working with the international community to ensure the full implementation and strict enforcement of North Korea-related UNSCR sanctions, including sustained international cooperation to deter, disrupt, and ultimately eliminate North Korea’s illicit ship-to-ship transfers.

The officials also discussed other regional security issues and concurred on the importance of maintaining a rules-based order. The officials reaffirmed that freedom of navigation and overflight must be ensured, and that all disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner in accordance with the principles of international law. They also shared the recognition that military-level confidence-building is important for the nations within the region and committed to continue relevant cooperation.

The three officials emphasized that trilateral security cooperation plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. The officials committed to further trilateral security cooperation, including information sharing, high-level policy consultations, and exercises.

The United States reaffirmed its ironclad security commitments to the ROK and Japan, and the three representatives pledged to closely cooperate for the stability of the region. The representatives also committed to hold the twelfth Defense Trilateral Talks in Japan on a date to be mutually determined in the future.