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S. Korea, US, Japan to hold defense ministers' talk next month via videoconferencing

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Wednesday to hold their defense ministers' talks at an agreed-upon date via videoconferencing amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the defense ministry said.

The agreement was made during the 12th Defense Trilateral Talks (DTT) among the three nations, which also took place online due to the COVID-19 situation, according to the ministry.

The defense ministers of the three countries had been set to gather in Singapore in June on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, but the security forum, initially scheduled for June 5-7, was canceled due to the coronavirus, according to its organizer and ministry officials.

"The trilateral defense ministers' talks will likely take place next month via teleconferencing," a ministry official said.

During Wednesday's meeting, the representatives "discussed their assessment of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, ways to maintain regional stability, how to respond to the spread of the coronavirus, and ways to practically enhance security cooperation among the three countries," the ministry said in a release.

Deputy Defense Minister Chung Suk-hwan represented South Korea, and the US and Japan teams were headed by David Helvey and Akihiro Tsuchimichi, respectively, it added.

Launched in 2008, the trilateral annual forum, which involves assistant deputy minister-level officials, serves as a venue to discuss major regional security issues, including North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. (Yonhap)
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