AT SEA –
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet hosted the second trilateral meeting in 2023 with Fleet commanders from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy on board USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Oct. 8.
Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander U.S. 7th Fleet, met with ROK Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Kim Myung-soo, and Commander, JMSDF's Self Defense Fleet Vice Adm. SAITO Akira to align efforts within shared maritime security challenges and discussed strengthening maritime-based trilateral security cooperation.
“This meeting demonstrates the strength of our trilateral relationship and our shared interests in maritime security and stability,” said Thomas. “Our three Indo-Pacific nations routinely operate together and are continuing to enhance trilateral exercises, ballistic missile defense, and information sharing and coordination. Our continued dialogue and development of interchangeability demonstrate our shared resolve to maintain the status quo of peace and defend against aggression.”
The meeting comes after the historic Camp David Summit where leaders from the three nations committed to strengthening trilateral security cooperation.
VADM SAITO said, “Attempts and actual actions to change the status quo by force are the challenges against rules-based international order. In order to create security environment that does not accept such violations, our three navies should continue working closely together and deepening further cooperation with navies of friendly nations in the Indo-Pacific region. The Self-Defense Fleet will continue to actively conduct activities that contribute to the regional peace and security with allied and like-minded navies for the realization of a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
During the meeting, leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening maritime-based trilateral security cooperation.
"To respond to DPRK's evolving underwater, nuclear and missile threats, the strong ROK-US Alliance as well as trilateral security cooperation between Korea, the US and Japan are very important." emphasized Vice Admiral Kim Myeong-soo, Commander, ROK Fleet. “We will strengthen trilateral cooperation based on maritime exercises to deter and respond to DPRK nuclear and missile threats.”
U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.