Kono, Esper Share Concerns over N. Korea Missile Threat

Politics

Bangkok, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper agreed Monday that a series of ballistic missile launches by North Korea is a grave threat to regional security.

Kono and Esper also affirmed the importance of maintaining the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, between Japan South Korea to ensure bilateral cooperation as well as trilateral cooperation among Tokyo, Washington and Seoul.

Japan-South Korea GSOMIA, a key military information-sharing pact, is set to expire at midnight Friday (3 p.m. GMT) unless Seoul withdraws its decision to scrap it.

Also in his meeting with Esper, Kono explained Japan's current preparations to send Self-Defense Troops to the Middle East for the safety of Japanese commercial vessels traveling in the region.

Esper expressed gratitude for the envisaged plan, saying it is expected to contribute to regional peace and stability.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press