U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with the top defense officials of Japan and South Korea to address the United States’ continuing support of the nations’ solidarity before the trilateral meeting of the “Shangri-La Dialogue” Asia security summit.
Speaking with Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, Gates addressed the common security interests of the three countries and reiterated the United States’ commitment to the two allies, especially after the attack by North Korea on the South Korean ship that killed 46 of the nation’s sailors.
“Attacks like that on the Cheonan undermine the peace and stability of not just the Korean peninsula, but the region as a whole,” he said. “To do nothing would set the wrong precedent. The international community can and must hold North Korea accountable. The United States will continue to work with the Republic of Korea, Japan and our other partners to figure out the best way to do just that.”
The three defense leaders expressed their gratitude and excitement about the agreed security cooperation. The “Shangri-La Dialogue,” as previously explained by Gates, provides an ideal forum for communication to address security issues.