Follow-up to the 2 plus 2 talks: The meeting of the three national security advisers took place behind closed doors

After the U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense visited Japan and South Korea and held 2 plus 2 talks respectively, the U.S. invited Japan and South Korea’s top national security officials to the U.S. again this Friday (April 2) for a security meeting to discuss issues related to China and North Korea, the epidemic, and the South China Sea, highlighting the high importance the U.S. attaches to the Indo-Pacific region.

After holding two 2 plus 2 talks with Japan and South Korea respectively, the U.S., Japan and South Korea sat down together again to discuss common national security issues, and the venue of the meeting was chosen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to facilitate access to the U.S. military, especially the Navy.

According to reports, the first trilateral meeting of U.S., Japanese and Korean national security advisors during the Biden administration was attended by Japan’s National Security Director Shigeru Kitamura, South Korea’s National Security Office Chief Seo Hoon-young of Cheong Wa Dae, and U.S. National Security Advisor Sullivan. The Japanese and South Korean representatives will have the opportunity to meet with U.S. Navy personnel, and the talks will be in closed-door mode, and will not be open to the media, nor will they issue a joint statement. The seriousness of the national security issue is highlighted.

The Biden administration, which claims to be strengthening relations with its Indo-Pacific allies, held its first quadrilateral summit with the leaders of Japan, India and Australia on March 12, which is seen as the determination of the four Indo-Pacific countries to counter the growing military and economic power of China. In terms of foreign aid for vaccines, the four countries agreed that the U.S. and Japan would provide funding, India would manufacture, and Australia would do the logistics to deliver the new coronavirus vaccine to Southeast Asia. The U.S. is also now showing a welcoming attitude toward South Korea, which is not part of this high-level dialogue mechanism. Is the U.S. now engaged with North Korea on public health and wellness? U.S. officials said it is “premature,” but are interested in hearing about the assessment of the outbreak in North Korea.

On various aspects of North Korea, U.S. officials said the three national security advisers will discuss issues including denuclearization, nuclear non-proliferation, North Korea’s internal affairs, and North Korea’s recent missile tests, as well as some recent diplomatic actions between China and North Korea. On the Biden administration’s policy toward North Korea? U.S. officials revealed that policy development is nearly complete and that Japanese and South Korean national security officials will provide input. But it is not yet known whether the U.S. will formally launch its North Korea policy after the 3 countries’ national security advisers meet.

According to Reuters: The Biden administration has made several attempts to communicate with North Korea behind the scenes since mid-February, but were rebuffed, and then on March 21, North Korea launched two short-range missiles. While this was considered the first public provocation to the Biden administration, the Biden administration remained open to dialogue with Pyongyang, with the U.S. Department of Defense declining to respond to the matter and the North Korean mission to the United Nations not immediately responding to the matter. Only later did an official respond that North Korea was using a low-end weapons system that was not covered by the UN Security Council’s test ban. The joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises have still drawn North Korea’s ire despite being scaled back and turned into a computer simulation exercise. North Korea has not tested a nuclear weapon or intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, but it has conducted multiple short-range missile tests after the broken Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Recently the U.S. national security team has also been in close contact with NATO and intends to work together to address additional challenges in the Indo-Pacific region as well as other regions. The Quad (also known as the Quadripartite Security Dialogue), an alliance of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, will participate in a three-day French-led “Laperouse” in the Bay of Bengal starting next Monday (April 5). “La Perouse” (La Perouse) naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. Two French naval vessels, the amphibious assault ship Tonnerre and the frigate Surcouf, arrived in Kochi, India. In November 2020, the U.S., Japan, India and Australia held the Malabar 2020 military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region. Next week, these four countries, plus France, are expected to take military cooperation to a new level.

The French embassy in New Delhi said in a statement Wednesday (March 31) that the military exercise “will provide an opportunity for these five like-minded, high-end naval forces to develop closer ties, hone their skills and promote maritime cooperation throughout the free and open Indo-Pacific region.” The Nikkei commented that the Quadripartite Alliance countries and France often speak in various forums about the need for freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region as a euphemism for protesting Communist China’s “illegal” maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea. This is an indicator of how the geopolitical dynamics of the region will unfold in the future. The light of the “quadrilateral alliance” appears to be expanding with the addition of other democracies with a stake in the region, such as France and the United Kingdom. “The significance of the ‘Quadrilateral Alliance’ coming together to conduct multilateral military exercises will not be lost on those who are keen observers of the region.”