#Hot Issues of the Week l 2021-04-04
Top security officials of South Korea, the United States and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation and a joint response to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue.
National security adviser Suh Hoon held face-to-face talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts Jake Sullivan and Shigeru Kitamura in Maryland on Friday after which the White House released a press statement on the meeting.
In the statement, the three sides said they met to discuss Washington's ongoing North Korea policy review and other issues of joint interest including security concerns in the Indo-Pacific.
The officials affirmed their commitment to a joint effort to defend and advance their shared security goals.
The Friday meeting between the top security advisers of Seoul, Tokyo and Washington was the first of its kind since President Biden took office and the foremost goal was to exchange opinions on the U.S.'s new North Korea policy, the review of which is in the final stages.
The meeting comes after Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, issued an angry and hostile statement earlier in the week, slamming President Moon Jae-in's remarks on Pyongyang's recent missile launches. In response, Seoul expressed regret over her harshly worded criticism.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, strongly criticized President Moon Jae-in for his speech on the North's recent missile launches.
In a statement carried by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) on Tuesday, Kim blasted Moon for criticizing the North's "self-defense" actions.
This came after Moon said on Friday that any action that could undermine the mood for dialogue is "undesirable" in an apparent reference to the North's recent launches.
She also pointed out that Moon described South Korea's own missile tests as efforts to build "peace and dialogue" in a speech in July last year.
Kim continued that this illogical and shameless behavior is the same as the "gangster-like logic" of the U.S. denouncing the North's right to self-defense as a violation of United Nations resolutions and a threat to the international community.
She went further, mocking Moon by calling him a "parrot" for Washington.
South Korea's Unification Ministry, in response, expressed deep regret over Kim's statement.
A ministry official said some of the expressions used by Kim were disrespectful and lacking courtesy, adding that one must maintain courtesy in dialogue and cooperation.
The official, however, reaffirmed Seoul's commitment to reviving momentum for inter-Korean dialogue as part of the peace process.