World is safer when Japan, South Korea, US are united: Biden

Camp David, USA, Aug 18 (EFE).- The United States, Japan and South Korea are stronger and the world is safer when the three countries are united, US president Joe Biden told his counterparts from the two East Asian nations on Friday.

Biden was hosting a tripartite summit with Fumio Kishida and Yoon Suk-yeol at Camp David, the US presidential country retreat north of Washington DC.

“Our countries are stronger and the world is safer as we stand together,” Biden said at the start of the meeting, adding that it is “a belief we all three share.”

“Strengthening the ties between our democracies has long been a priority for me, dating back to when I was vice president of the United States,” said Biden, who took office in 2021.

The meeting, he added, marks the start of a “new era of cooperation” and renews a shared “resolve to serve as a force of good across the Indo-Pacific and, quite frankly, around the world as well.”

South Korean president Yoon said the three countries should “tighten their solidarity” to “make sure that each of our freedoms is neither threatened or damaged.”

Yoon also urged the three nations to address “challenges that threaten regional security,” and praised the “historic” gathering of the three leaders.

“I hope we will explore together ways to elevate cooperation between Korea, the US, and Japan to a new plane through in-depth discussions,” he said.

Kishida, meanwhile, urged the three countries to “raise the security coordination (…) to new heights” to better counter the ongoing nuclear threat from North Korea.

The Japanese prime minister also sent his “heartfelt condolences” to Biden and the American people following the devastating wildfires in Hawaii that have left over 100 dead and destroyed entire towns on the island of Maui.

Kishida said that his government would offer around $2 million in aid and support.

Yoon and Kishida are the first foreign leaders whom Biden has hosted at Camp David, the presidential residence in the state of Maryland, known for the historic agreements of the same name that led to the signing of a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

The White House said that during the meeting, the three leaders would sign a regional security pact that will formalize their joint commitment to stability in the Indo-Pacific region and commit to “consult each other” before making any military decisions.

They were also expected to discuss the next steps to be taken in the agreement reached in June to exchange real-time information to intercept ballistic missiles, especially those coming from North Korea. EFE


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