The chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) from South Korea, the U.S., and Japan held a meeting at the U.S. JCS chief’s office in Washington on Tuesday (local time), marking the first meeting among the three heads of the JCS since the South Korean government decided to scrap the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan last month.
The meeting was arranged by the U.S. as JCS chairmen from South Korea and Japan were visiting Washington to attend the inaugural ceremony of U.S. JCS chairman Mark Milley. The three reportedly discussed ways to collaborate on security in Northeast Asia and GSOMIA issues. In a move seemingly intended to strengthen trilateral cooperation between the three countries ahead of working-level nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea, and to highlight that the U.S. is mediating a spat between South Korea and Japan, the U.S. announced that the three would have another meeting at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Bangkok in November.
Speaking at a Brookings Institute event, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver described the U.S.’ role in resolving South Korea-Japan dispute while saying it is doing its best to separate national defense and security relations from the political tension between the two countries.