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Military chiefs of S. Korea, U.S., Japan likely to meet in Hawaii this month

Defense 15:15 April 13, 2021

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The top uniformed officers of South Korea, the United States and Japan are likely to gather in Hawaii later this month to discuss regional security circumstances and ways to boost trilateral ties, officials in Seoul said Tuesday.

The three nations are arranging a meeting between Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Won In-choul and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts -- Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. Koji Yamazaki -- on the occasion of the upcoming change-of-command ceremony of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, according to the officials.

The ceremony is likely to take place later this month, as Adm. Phil Davidson will be replaced by Adm. John Aquilino, who currently serves as the commander of the Pacific Fleet.

"The meeting would be a venue to discuss North Korea and security circumstances in the region, and explore ways to boost exchanges and cooperation against shared threats," an official said.

Such three-way face-to-face talks were last held in October 2019, and the three sides held a teleconference in November last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The planned meeting comes as the U.S. is working to boost its ties with allies and partner nations to better deal with a provocative North Korea and an assertive China.

This file photo provided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Oct. 6, 2020, shows South Korea's new JCS Chairman Gen. Won In-choul holding phone talks with his U.S. counterpart, Mark Milley. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This file photo, provided by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), shows a trilateral meeting among South Korea's JCS Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki (R) and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts, Gen. Mark Milley (C) and Gen. Koji Yamazaki, respectively, at the Pentagon near Washington on Oct. 1, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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