Officials from Australia, Japan, and the United States met in Washington February 12 for the 5th Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF) plenary session. The meeting included discussions on trilateral political-military and defense cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, regional capacity development, and maritime security, among other issues. The officials also exchanged views on the state of regional security affairs.
The three delegations discussed the recent North Korean nuclear test. They agreed that this highly provocative act was a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, and 2087, as well as North Korea’s own commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The three delegations further affirmed that North Korea’s actions undermine regional security, increase the risks of proliferation, and further isolate it from the international community.
The SDCF is a regular cooperative dialogue between Australia, Japan, and the United States, and has been held since 2007. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro and Assistant Secretary of Defense Mark Lippert co-chaired the forum.
Defense secretaries and ministers from Australia, Japan, and the United States have met twice on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. They plan to do so again in May 2013.