Improved ROK-Japan Relations, How Far and How Important?

12:00 to 13:30

The purpose of this webinar is to discuss recent developments in South Korean and Japanese relations. How likely is a continuance of this development, and what potential effects could it have on regional developments in terms of stability and security?

Pyongyang conducted a flurry of missile tests in 2022, and experts and analysts believe that the nation is preparing for a nuclear test. The DPRK claims that this activity is a response to perceived encroachment by U.S., South Korean, and Japanese forces in the region as well as an element of its pursuit of military independence and political sovereignty. Notably, North Korea’s incessant testing is aggravated by its newly adopted nuclear doctrine, that ratifies the country’s openness to carry out preemptive nuclear strikes. President Yoon Suk-yeol’s ambitions to improve relations with Japan appear to have been accelerated by this shift in threat perception. One significant indication of this change was the first-ever trilateral ballistic missile defense drill, which involved two American guided missile ships, two Japanese Maritime Self Defense destroyers, and the most advanced Korean navy destroyer. The same week, the three nations also took part in a joint air drill. To accompany these military maneuvers several high-level meetings between South Korean and Japanese officials have taken place as well as some trilateral meetings between the U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials.

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Institute for Security and Development Policy

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