Japan's Defense Minister Taro Kono has repeated his request for a wise response from South Korea regarding an intelligence-sharing pact between the two countries.
Kono, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and South Korea's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo held talks in Bangkok on Sunday. Kono and Jeong had met earlier in the day.
The focus of the meetings was the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA. The pact is due to expire next Saturday. Seoul decided not to extend the agreement in the face of worsening bilateral ties over wartime and trade issues.
Kono said North Korea's repeated test-firings of ballistic missiles pose a threat to regional peace and stability. He stressed the importance of trilateral defense cooperation.
Jeong said he hopes Japan and South Korea will develop future-oriented relations based on the common values and interests of the three countries.
Esper said the three countries need to work closely to achieve common goals. He stressed the need to look beyond and overcome bilateral issues to avoid playing into the hands of Pyongyang and Beijing.
The three officials issued a joint statement that calls on North Korea to achieve denuclearization and abandon ballistic missiles. The statement also calls for the US, Japan and South Korea to push ahead with security cooperation, including information sharing.