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Secretary Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi, and ROK Foreign Minister Park Before Their Meeting
July 14, 2023

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good evening, everyone.  It’s, as always, a great pleasure to be joined by my friends and colleagues from Japan and Korea in – I think I’ve lost count of how many trilateral meetings we’ve had over the last couple of years.  But I think it’s evidence of a few things.  It’s evidence of the fact that our three countries are joined in a common vision, a common approach to the future of the region that we share:  a free and open Indo-Pacific; one that is secure, prosperous, connected, resilient.  And we’re working together to advance that vision, and to make it real.  I think we all see that so much of the future is going to be shaped here in this region, and our work together offers the best prospects of shaping that future in a way that advances the vision that we share.

I’m very proud of the progress that we’ve achieved through our trilateral collaboration over the last couple of years.  And we’re eager to expand that collaboration, including in areas of economic security and development in the Indo-Pacific, climate, and many other issues.  But of course, we’re also joined resolutely in terms of our shared and common security, and there is no greater challenge to that common security than the ongoing provocations coming from North Korea, from the DPRK – yet another missile launched just a couple days ago; repeated violations of UN Security Council resolutions.  But the net effect of that, among other things, has to been – has been to have our three countries work even more closely together than was already the case, because we are joined resolutely in the common defense and making sure that we are doing everything possible to deter and defend against any aggression coming from North Korea.

So, we have lots to discuss as always, but I am particularly proud of the fact that we have, as well as a strong security agenda, a very important affirmative agenda of the things we can do together in the region that we share.

With that, Yogi, over to you.

FOREIGN MINISTER YOSHIMASA:  Thank you.  Thank you, Tony.  This is my great pleasure for me too to participate in another – I don’t know how many – (laughter) – Japan-U.S.-ROK foreign minister meetings with Tony and PJ.  So, as mentioned by Tony, North Korea launched an ICBM‑class ballistic missile just a few days ago.  So, we strongly condemn this launch as it threatens peace and stability for the international community.

So as the Indo-Pacific region is in the midst of the most severe complex security environment since the end of World War II, as seen in North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities – including the last launch, trilateral strategic coordination among Japan, the U.S., and ROK has never been more important.  I would like to continue to work hand-in-hand with you two, Tony and PJ, in order to bring our trilateral coordination to a new height based on the respectively solidified bilateral relationship (inaudible).  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Jin.

FOREIGN MINISTER PARK:  Thank you.  I’m very glad that we have reassembled here in Jakarta.  According to my count, we have held three trilateral summits, three foreign ministerials, and three vice ministers’ meetings among us to forge a trilateral partnership unprecedented in strength.

Just two days ago, North Korea launched another ICBM, and this happened just in the middle of the ASEAN-related meetings where we gather to discuss peace and stability in the region.  So what North Korea is doing is completely against the expectations of the international community.  So, I hope that our trilateral dialogue today will strengthen our resolve to respond firmly and resolutely, unequivocally, against North Korea’s continuous provocations – and send a message that their provocations will not go unpunished.  And I think that watertight coordination among the three countries will be essential to achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much, Jin.  Thank you, (inaudible).