Trilateral defense ministers meeting held in SingaporeUpdated: 2014-05-31 18:16:31 (KST)
The trilateral defense ministers' meeting between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan was held Saturday on the sidelines of the Asian Security Summit in Singapore.
The gathering of South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, Japanese defense chief Itsunori Onodera, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was the fifth consecutive trilateral get together on the sidelines of the summit.
Top of the agenda was North Korea in the face of continuing provocations out of Pyongyang.
South Korea's defense ministry says the three sides reiterated that North Korea cannot be tolerated or recognized as a nuclear state and they agreed to increase cooperation to counter the North Korean threat.
They also said the international community needs to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
They added that North Korea is a threat to South Korea, but the regime also threatens peace and security throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
With the common values and security interests, the three ministers acknowledged the importance of sharing defense information when North Korea show signs of a ballistic missile launch or nuclear test.
In separate two-way talks, Kim and Hagel agreed to set a date for the transfer wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul during the Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting scheduled for October in Washington.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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