On March 7, 2019, the NCAFP held a US-Japan-Republic of Korea Track 1.5 conference with participants from all three sides to explore opportunities and challenges in trilateral security cooperation. Participants roundly agreed that the major obstacles to security cooperation were due to the political choices by all three sides and discussed recommendations to maintain a base level of collaboration while muddling through the current period. While most in the group predicted that the prospects for trilateral cooperation are bright in the medium to long-term, given the common threats faced by all three countries, some expressed concern that short-term pressures to pull away from each other could precipitate a crisis that would crack the foundation of future cooperation.
Image: President Donald Trump, center, meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the Northeast Asia Security dinner at the US Consulate General Hamburg, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)