Title: US-Japan-South Korea Alliance Strengthens, Fueling “New Cold War” in Asia
Date: August 1, 2023
A comprehensive report by our reporter Ting Fang
Against the backdrop of escalating competition between the United States and China, the strengthening of defense relations between the United States and Indo-Pacific countries has pushed the relationship between China, Russia, and North Korea to a new level. According to a report by the Financial Times on August 1, the United States is seeking Japan and South Korea’s agreement to consult with each other in the event of an attack, further solidifying the “US-Japan-South Korea axis” and raising concerns of a “new cold war” in Asia.
The White House aims to bring Japan and South Korea closer together to increase deterrence against North Korea and China. U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yue are planning to issue a joint statement at the upcoming Camp David Summit on the 18th. The statement will urge Tokyo and Seoul to strengthen deterrence and promote defense cooperation. Discussions are underway for the establishment of a hotline between the leaders of the three countries, as well as trilateral exercises, network security, missile defense, and economic security.
Experts believe that a joint statement confirming the interconnected security of Japan and South Korea will carry historic significance and have far-reaching implications. This move will likely be closely monitored by Pyongyang and Beijing, who have been vocal opponents of increased collaboration between the United States and its allies in the region.
Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, emphasized the importance of the trilateral partnership, stating that it signifies a major strategic shift in favor of the collective vision of the United States, Japan, and South Korea.
Efforts to strengthen alliances in the Indo-Pacific region are part of the Biden administration’s broader strategy. The “US-Japan-India-Australia Quadrilateral Security Dialogue” and the “Australia-UK-U.S. Tripartite Security Partnership” are among the other multilateral frameworks being pursued.
China, in particular, views the “US-Japan-South Korea axis” as a cause for concern. Joint missile defense exercises and increased data sharing between the three countries have contributed to China’s deteriorating security environment, according to Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund.
Leaders from the United States, Japan, and South Korea are expected to issue a joint press communiqué or agreement after the talks on the 18th. This cooperative plan is expected to focus on strengthening extended deterrence, economic security, and global supply chain programs.
In the midst of this developing alliance, North Korea, China, and Russia have come together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of a historic conflict between the communist and democratic camps. Observers suggest that this gathering could mark the beginning of a “new Cold War” structure, with geopolitical tensions escalating further.
North Korea’s willingness to strengthen cooperation with Russia is evident in its recent actions, with eight out of Kim Jong-un’s ten activities last week involving Chinese and Russian delegations. Geopolitical experts have cited these actions as indicators of a significant shift towards a new Cold War centered around the Korean Peninsula.
While China has made efforts to rebuild relations with North Korea, experts suggest that China’s loss of confidence in North Korea, coupled with the country’s isolation from the international community, has complicated the relationship between the two nations.
As tensions continue to rise, some analysts predict that the Asia-Pacific region could witness an intensification of two opposing camps — the US-Japan-ROK alliance and the China-Russia-DPRK alliance.
If North Korea persists in its missile threats, the US-Japan-South Korea alliance is prepared to increase sanctions and take resolute actions until the Kim regime is neutralized.
This evolving alliance between Japan, South Korea, and the United States is likened to an “Asia-Pacific version” of NATO by current commentator Zhang Tianliang. The increased cooperation among these countries has placed the Chinese Communist Party in a state of encirclement, with implications for the future international order following the Russo-Ukraine war.
As the situation in Asia evolves, the world watches the outcome of the Camp David Summit and the potential ramifications for the balance of power in the region.
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