Top brass of S. Korea, U.S., Japan discuss security cooperation against N.K. threats

South Korea's top military officer on Thursday held video talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts to discuss trilateral efforts for security cooperation to counter North Korean military threats, Seoul's military said. The talks among Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Adm. Kim Myung-soo, and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida, respectively, took place amid concerns over Pyongyang's continued weapons tests this year. Last week, the North claimed to have staged a ground engine test for a new intermediate-range hypersonic missile, after test-firing a purported solid-fuel hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile in January. "(The three sides) agreed that the DPRK's provocative actions including nuclear and missile developments reflect the importance of increasing the depth, scale, and scope of trilateral cooperation," the JCS said in an English-language release. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of K orea. The three sides noted the efforts under way to bolster security cooperation, such as launching a system to share North Korean missile warning data in real time and establishing a multiyear plan for trilateral military drills last December, the JCS said. Brown also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defending South Korea and Japan, and the three recognized that trilateral cooperation helps ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, according to the JCS. The three sides are set to hold their regular in-person meeting this summer. Source: Yonhap News Agency