US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on August 18 agreed to deepen military and economic cooperation. During their meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, the leaders also made their strongest joint condemnation yet of “dangerous and aggressive behavior” by China in the South China Sea.
In a summit statement, the countries committed to consult promptly with each other during crises and coordinate responses to regional challenges, provocations and threats affecting common interests. The allies also agreed to hold military training exercises annually and share real-time information on North Korean missile launches by the end of 2023. The countries promised to hold trilateral summits annually.
The summit at the Maryland presidential retreat was the first standalone meeting between the US and Japan and South Korea. It came due to a rapprochement launched by Yoon and driven by shared perceptions of threats posed by China and North Korea, as well as Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
It was Joe Biden’s first Camp David summit for foreign leaders. The US President said the woodsy venue had long symbolised “the power of new beginnings and new possibilities.” Praising the visiting Asian leaders for their political courage, he said they understood well that the world was “at an inflection point, where we’re called to lead in new ways, to work together, to stand together.”