U.S., Japan, South Korea intelligence chiefs hold talks in Tokyo, U.S. officials to visit South Korea later

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Haynes arrives in Seoul, South Korea

Since the Seoul side of the news, the U.S., Japan and South Korea intelligence chiefs held closed-door talks in Tokyo, Japan, on May 12 to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the new U.S. policy toward North Korea and other matters. U.S. Director of National Intelligence Haines (Avril Haines) also flew to South Korea on the same day to visit.

Haines met with Shigeru Kitamura, director of Japan’s National Security Agency, on the 11th. Kyodo News reported that the two may have exchanged views on the Biden administration’s completed adjusted policy toward North Korea. According to Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday quoted several diplomatic sources as saying that Park Ji-won, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, who left for Japan the day before, held a closed-door meeting with Haynes and Japanese Cabinet Intelligence Officer Yukiaki Takizawa in Tokyo that morning. It is reported that Park Ji-won had held talks with Takiizawa Yuaki the day before, and also met with Japan’s number two LDP figure, Chairman of the Board, Jiji Toshihiro.

Since the Biden administration took office in January this year, senior officials from the US, Japan and South Korea have met one after another to discuss regional issues. In early April, the three countries held a meeting in Washington, D.C., between the Korean, U.S. and Japanese national security chiefs, and this month, the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting was used as an opportunity to hold talks between the U.S., Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers. Immediately after, the intelligence chiefs of the three countries held a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday. The report said that the three parties may have an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in Northeast Asia, the Biden administration’s new policy toward North Korea, the North Korean nuclear missile issue and other common concerns.

In addition, Haynes flew to Seoul, South Korea, immediately after the meeting to start the visit. The ROK and the U.S. are coordinating the schedule for Haynes to call on South Korean President Moon Jae-in and hold talks with National Security Office Director Seo Hun during his visit to South Korea. Haynes is expected to visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and inspect the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom on the inter-Korean border on April 13.

The White House issued a statement on April 29 saying that Moon will visit the U.S. on May 21 and will hold talks with Biden, highlighting the “unwavering alliance” between the two Koreas. In a related statement, the White House said, “President Biden looks forward to working with President Moon Jae-in to further strengthen the alliance and expand close cooperation between the two countries.”