NHK reported at noon that Defense Minister Kono held his first teleconference with US. Defense Secretary Esper last night. The two officials reportedly affirmed the importance of Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation after the ROK’s decision to scrap its GSOMIA with Japan. They also agreed to work toward strengthening the bilateral security alliance and steadily executing the plan to relocate MCAS Futenma to Henoko, Nago City. On North Korea, Kono and Esper confirmed the importance of striving for the complete and irreversible dismantlement of all its weapons of mass destruction and missiles of all ranges and the full implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions. NHK said they also discussed the Middle East situation, and Kono informed Esper of Japan’s diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in that region.