Korea, U.S. and Japan Agree to Upgrade Relationship at Camp David Summit
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Korea, U.S. and Japan Agree to Upgrade Relationship at Camp David Summit
Leaders of the three countries agree to cooperate in all areas, including economy and security

21(Thu), Sep, 2023

President Yoon Suk-yeol replies to a question during a joint news conference following a tripartite summit at his presidential retreat “Camp David” in Maryland on Aug. 18 as US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida look on. (Photo: Yonhap News Agency) 

Korea, the United States and Japan have elevated their tripartite relationships to a new “core cooperative partnership” following the Camp David Summit. 

The agreement by the three countries to cooperate in all areas, including economy and security, has led to changes in the strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific region.

President Yoon Suk-yeol said at the end of the summit, “In the past, the tree countries had cooperated in individual pending issues, and today, the tripartite cooperation is a new chapter of comprehensive cooperation in all areas, including security, economy, and science & technology.” 

President Yoon stressed that if the three countries were to join forces, it would contribute to promoting freedom, peace and prosperity of the world, and it will bring benefits to the peoples of the three countries. 

If the three countries complete a tripartite cooperative regime, the partnership is predicted to surpass AUKUS, the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

CNN reported that the leaders of the three democratic countries promised to predict the strongest cooperation era in the Pacific despite their bumpy history. 

But there are still challenges, such as China’s resistance, and close relationship between China and Russia. 

President Yoon Suk-yeol, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a tripartite summit at his presidential retreat “Camp David” in Maryland on Aug. 18 and agreed to raise their relationship to new heights. 

In a Camp David statement, the three countries agreed to regularize a summit once or more annually. 

They also agreed to regularize meetings among their defense ministers and national security advisers. 

The three countries announced that a tripartite military exercise would take place annually. Korea, the United States and Japan agreed to ramp up cooperation on global value chains in areas such as the semiconductor sector and join forces to prevent illegal flows of advanced technologies. 

The leaders agreed to expand cooperation not only to core economic sectors, such as semiconductor and battery supply chains, technology security and standards, and energy but also advanced industries, such as bio and core minerals, pharmaceuticals, AI and quantum computing. 

Kim Tae-hyo, first deputy chief of the presidential National Security Office (NSO), said in a news briefing that the tripartite cooperation among Korea, the United States and Japan will evolve into the most comprehensive and multilayer cooperation regime yet.

At the Camp David summit, the leaders of Korea, the United Korea and Japan adopted a “Commitment to Consult,” a three-way agreement to coordinate responses to “regional challenges” on top of the statement.
The agreement has virtually institutionalized security cooperation, and it is forecast to lay a foundation for evolving the tripartite cooperation regime into a “quasi alliance.” 

In the statement, the three leaders said they “strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific.”

The three leaders said they would share real-time data on North Korea’s missile launches by setting up a hot line for crisis communications. 

President Yoon stressed that the three nations had taken concrete steps to ramp up joint response capabilities as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats become more sophisticated than ever. 

The Camp David summit also discussed launching early warnings for supply chain shortages, a system meant to de-risk from China, the top trade partner for both Seoul and Tokyo. 

Korea has been reluctant to take part in Biden administration trade curbs aimed at preventing China from accessing cutting-edge technologies.

The U.S.-led coalition will hold a second trilateral summit next year, having decided to have their foreign, defense and trade ministers as well as national security chiefs meet at least once a year. Yoon suggested that South Korea host the next meeting. 

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