Seoul: The defence chiefs of South Korea, the US and Japan discussed combined military exercises, including missile warning drills, during their talks in Singapore on Saturday amid North Korea’s growing security threats.
South Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup made the remarks after holding trilateral talks with his US and Japanese counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Nobuo Kishi, on the margins of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The meeting came amid growing concerns that the North has completed preparations for what would be its seventh nuclear test.
“The issue of the South Korea-US-Japan military exercise was discussed at a comprehensive level,” Lee said.
“There were more concrete talks about such things as missile warning trainings or missile tracking and monitoring (drills).”
He was referring to the warning trainings that the three countries already have in place but have not disclosed to the public since 2018 amid Seoul’s diplomacy for inter-Korean rapprochement.
Prior to the trilateral session, Lee and Austin met bilaterally and discussed joint deterrence to counter North Korean threats.
They strongly condemned the North’s recent series of missile launches and its preparations for a nuclear test, calling them “provocative acts that seriously threaten peace and stability” on the peninsula and beyond.
Saturday’s meeting marked the first face-to-face talks between Austin and Lee since the latter took office last month.