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U.S., Japan, ROK hold summit in Spain 

All national papers highlighted the summit between President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon held on the margins of the NATO conference in Madrid on Wednesday. The three officials agreed to step up security coordination to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. At the outset, President Biden expressed hope for “stronger trilateral coordination through the continuation of this type of dialogue.” The U.S. leader reportedly affirmed Washington’s defense commitment to the two Asian allies through extended deterrence, calling it “unshakable.” Kishida reportedly mentioned the importance of a coordinated response by the three partners, including joint training, in the event that the DPRK tests a nuclear device. “It is essential to enhance trilateral cooperation, including strengthening the deterrence of the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-South Korean alliances,” he added. Yoon said trilateral partnership is now more important than ever amid North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats. This was the first three-party meeting of its kind in almost 4 years and 9 months.  


The papers underscored that President Biden was instrumental in arranging the trilateral summit in the hope of helping swift reconciliation between the U.S.’s two key partners in Northeast Asia, with Mainichi saying that Washington strongly desires a more robust partnership between Tokyo and Seoul to deter North Korea and China. The Biden administration reportedly regarded the inauguration of the “pro-alliance” Yoon administration as a golden opportunity to rebuild a three-way partnership. 

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