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Working-level defense officials of U.S., Japan, ROK agree to cooperate closely on COVID-19

NHK reported that working-level defense officials of the U.S., Japan, and South Korea agreed that close cooperation is important in measures to prevent the outbreak of the new coronavirus in addition to dealing with North Korea, and confirmed that they will move forward with arrangements to hold a teleconference for cabinet ministers at an early date. The network said the working-level defense talks were originally planned to be held in Tokyo, but were held online instead due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the network, the officials confirmed that the repeated firing of ballistic missiles by North Korea “violates UNSC resolutions and cannot be overlooked” and the three nations will work closely and conduct surveillance in order to prevent offshore ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea. In addition, the officials also reportedly exchanged views on China’s maritime activities in the South and East China Seas, and the Japanese side reportedly explained its position that the repeated incursions by Chinese government patrol boats into Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands are unacceptable. 

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