Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan in Madrid, Spain

June 29, 2022

President Biden. Well, it's great to be here again with President Yoon following our detailed and productive conversations in Seoul last month and also to be joined by Prime Minister Kishida, who I visited in Tokyo last month and spent the last few days in Germany with, at the G-7.

And this is an opportunity to further coordinate our trilateral efforts, specifically with regard to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Our trilateral cooperation, in my view, is essential to achieving our shared objective, including a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

I look forward to additional dialogues in this format as we continue to strengthen our trilateral—our trilateral—engagement. And we remain deeply concerned at the D.P.R.K.'s continued escalatory ballistic missiles and tests and potential for—to conduct a nuclear test.

I'm particularly pleased that this meeting is taking place on the margins of this historic NATO summit and that, for the first time, it includes Indo-Pacific partners of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Korean Republic, and—excuse me, the Republic of Korea. And the attendance of all four of these leaders highlights the global resolve to hold Russia accountable for its brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine and our shared determination to defend the rules-based international order.

And with that, I'd like to turn to President Yoon. And the floor is yours, sir.

President Yoon. In conjunction with the NATO summit, I find it deeply meaningful that we, as leaders of the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan, came together. I extend my sincere appreciation to President Biden for hosting this summit, and I am delighted to meet Prime Minister Kishida once again.

The D.P.R.K.'s nuclear and missile threats continue to evolve, and the global landscape is facing increased uncertainties, thereby rendering our trilateral partnership all the more significant.

In almost 5 years, the R.O.K.-U.S.-Japan summit is reconvening, indicating the three nations' commitment to enhancing their cooperation in order to tackle regional and global issues. I hope that our meeting today will position R.O.K.-U.S.-Japan partnership as yet another central pillar for global peace and stability.

Prime Minister Kishida. I am deeply concerned over the possibility of further provocation by North Korea, including nuclear testing. As confirmed on the occasion of President Biden's visit to Japan and to the R.O.K., the deterrence capabilities of the Japan-U.S. and U.S.-R.O.K. alliances need to be upgraded as part of the essential effort to strengthen the trilateral partnership between Japan, the U.S., and R.O.K.

From such perspective and for other reasons, this trilateral summit is being organized at a timely juncture. Through this meeting, I hope that trilateral cooperation regarding our response to North Korea will be solidified.

I very much welcome the prompt response by the Japan-U.S. and U.S.-R.O.K. alliances against ballistic missiles launched by North Korea, and the agreement reached at the recent trilateral ministerial meeting between Defense Ministers to conduct trilateral missile warning and ballistic missile search-and-tracking exercises is welcomed.

In the case a nuclear test is performed, I hope that response can be taken at the trilateral level, including joint exercises. In order to strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of our alliance with the U.S., Japan will fundamentally reinforce our defense capabilities.

And, Joe, President Yoon, I am deeply grateful for your support towards the immediate solution of the abduction issue, and I ask you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

President Biden. Well, gentlemen, thank you very much. We'll let the press out, which ought to be interesting watching.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:38 p.m. at the Institución Ferial de Madrid convention center. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia; and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand. Prime Minister Kishida referred to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III; Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup of South Korea; and Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi of Japan. President Yoon and Prime Minister Kishida spoke in Korean and Japanese, respectively, and their remarks were translated by interpreters.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan in Madrid, Spain Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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