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US, SKorea, Japan Meet Over NKorea     12/07 06:31


   SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The national security advisers of the United 
States, South Korea and Japan will meet in Seoul this week to discuss North 
Korea's growing military threat and other regional security issues as they 
continue to promote trilateral cooperation in Asia.

   South Korea's presidential office said its national security office 
director, Cho Tae-yong, will host a three-way meeting in Seoul on Saturday with 
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Japanese National Security 
Secretariat Secretary General Takeo Akiba for in-depth discussions on North 
Korea and other matters related to security, technology, and trade. Cho will 
also hold bilateral meetings with Sullivan and Akiba on Friday.

   White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the 
meetings will be driven by a "robust agenda of discussions of regional issues 
of mutual concerns, particularly in the security environment" as the countries 
continue to build on an August summit between their leaders in Camp David, 
where they vowed to deepen three-way security and economic cooperation.

   Japan's prime minister's office said the discussions on North Korea will 
include that country's recent launch of its first military reconnaissance 
satellite, a device North Korean leader Kim Jong Un described as crucial for 
monitoring U.S. and South Korean military movements and enhancing the threat of 
his nuclear-capable missiles.

   There are also broader concerns about a potential arms alignment between 
North Korea and Russia, in which the North provides badly needed munitions to 
fuel Russian President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine in exchange for possible 
Russian technology assistance to advance Kim's nuclear-armed military.

   South Korean intelligence officials have said that the Russians likely 
provided technology support for North Korea's successful satellite launch in 
November, which followed two failed launches. Many outside experts question 
whether the North's satellite is sophisticated enough to send militarily useful 
high-resolution imagery.

   Both Pyongyang and Moscow have denied U.S. and South Korean claims that the 
North has been shipping artillery shells and other arms supplies to Russia in 
recent months.

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