The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff met in Hawaii today with South Korean and Japanese chiefs of defense to discuss increasing North Korean nuclear and missile threats, U.S. Pacific Command said.
“The three chiefs of defense reconfirmed that North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and long-range missile launch were direct violations of U.N. resolutions as well as serious provocations against the international community and agreed to firmly respond to the acts utilizing trilateral information sharing,” the command said. “The senior military leaders also agreed to coordinate further on mutual security issues to enhance peace and stability in the region.”
U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, hosted Republic of Korea Army Gen. Lee Sun-Jin, chairman of that country’s joint chiefs of staff, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Adm. Kawano Katsutoshi, chief of staff of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, at the trilateral meeting.
Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., head of Pacific Command, also was part of the talks at Camp H.M. Smith.
The session was the second between the defense chiefs of the United States, South Korea and Japan since July 2014, U.S. Pacific Command said.
Lee joined the U.S. and Japanese military leaders in Hawaii from Seoul via video teleconference “in order to maintain a readiness posture in the peninsula due to North Korea’s January nuclear test and their recent long-range missile launch Feb. 7,” said the U.S. command, which is headquartered at Camp H.M. Smith.
U.S. Pacific Command said over the weekend that U.S. military systems detected and tracked the North Korean missile launch into space.
“At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to the United States or its allies,” the command said.
South Korea and the United States are in talks to possibly locate a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea to counter threats from the North.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said THAAD provides “a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.”