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U.S. and Japan defense chiefs stress need for trilateral cooperation with South Korea

The U.S. and Japanese defense chiefs stressed the need for bolstered trilateral military cooperation with South Korea on Thursday as the pair met for talks just a day after a failed North Korean rocket carrying a spy satellite briefly triggered an emergency alert for Okinawa Prefecture.

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada kicked off the talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Tokyo, with Hamada strongly condemning the North Korean launch. Pyongyang has confirmed that the rocket carrying its first military satellite had crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff, but pledged to make another attempt “as soon as possible.”

In a fiery statement released the same day, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un slammed the U.S. condemnation of the attempted satellite launch as “hackneyed gibberish.”