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US to hold first standalone trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea

Washington [US], August 2 (ANI): United States announced its first standalone trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea will take place on August 18.

With North Korea's 'continued threat' as the top agenda further, the summit will address global and regional security challenges, reported The Japan Times.

US President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean leader Yoon Suk-yeol, according to the White House.

Adding to that, the White House announced that the summit will be held at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland as the three leaders look to expand trilateral cooperation"across the Indo-Pacific and beyond.""The summit will advance a shared trilateral vision for addressing global and regional security challenges, promoting a rules-based international order and bolstering economic prosperity," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement, according to The Japan Times.

In Seoul, presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon told the Yonhap news agency that the summit"will be an important opportunity" to elevate the cooperation among the three countries "to a new level."Earlier, the three leaders have held joint meetings on the sidelines of international events, but have never held a formal trilateral summit.

Moreover, during the summit, the three are also likely to release a joint statement condemning North Korea's missile tests and nuclear sabre-rattling while also calling for Pyongyang to return to long-stalled denuclearization talks, The Japan Times reported.

The talks, however, remain a nonstarter with Pyongyang, which in September passed a law that makes its nuclear status "irreversible" and bars any negotiations on relinquishing its arsenal.

North Korea has fired off a volley of missiles this month, including the solid-fuel Hwasong-18, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions that ban its possession and testing of the weapons.

Pyongyang's unprecedented spate of more than 100 missiles tests since last year has helped push the Japan-South Korea bilateral relationship closer as they look to cooperate on security issues, including with their mutual ally, the U.S., after years of soured ties over disagreements about wartime labour and other historical issues, reported The Japan Times. Japan- which called North Korea "an increasingly serious and imminent threat" in its annual defence white paper released Friday - warned that "provocations" by the North could continue, including a potential seventh nuclear test, a possibility that only grew with the appearance of the officialsfrom United Nations Security Council members China and Russia.

The two countries, Japan and South Korea have been pressurized by the US and its partners amid Moscow's war in Ukraine and the growing Sino-American rivalry. In the past, they have been sought to distance themselves from their neighbour's nuclear and missile ambitions, according to The Japan Times.

However, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to Pyongyang has made a shift with Shoigu photographed viewing banned North Korean ballistic missiles with Kim at a defense expo.

In response to a question about the Russian defence minister's recent trip to Pyongyang, the US said that it would not hesitate to impose sanctions on North Korea and Russia when necessary as they have already done it in the past a number of times. (ANI)