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U.S., Japan, And South Korea Respond Jointly To Chinese Balloon Incident

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U.S., Japan, And South Korea Respond Jointly To Chinese Balloon Incident

(CTN NEWS) – TOKYO – High-ranking officials from South Korea and Japan stated on Monday that neither nation should violate another’s territorial sovereignty, and they both back the U.S. reaction to a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

As tensions between Washington and Beijing have increased since the U.S. military shot down the balloon in early February, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori.

And his South Korean counterpart Cho Hyun Dong expressed the joint stance of Tokyo and Seoul after meeting with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Washington.

In a joint press conference with the two senior diplomats, Mori stated, “I explained during the meeting today that Japan supports this position of the U.S. We promise to stay in touch and eagerly await further details.”

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Photo shows (L-R) Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun Dong at a joint press conference in Washington on Feb. 13, 2023. (Kyodo)

“We, as an ally of the United States, trust what the United States formally declared,” the first vice foreign minister of South Korea said, adding that Seoul anticipates there will be an opportunity for a high-level discussion with China on the balloon problem.

Sherman reiterated Washington’s position that it is “absolutely convinced” the balloon was a “surveillance device” from China and hosted the trilateral meeting, the first of its type since last October.

Sherman emphatically refuted China’s claim that American high-altitude balloons have illegally entered Chinese airspace more than ten times since last year, much as White House national security spokesperson John Kirby did on Monday.

Sherman, referring to China by its official name, the People’s Republic of China, said, “Let me add an extremely important fact…there are no U.S. government balloons over the People’s Republic of China — none, none, period.”

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The U.S. military destroyed an unidentified flying object on Sunday for the third day.

A feat that may have never been accomplished in peacetime since the downing of the enormous balloon off the coast of South Carolina on February 4 after it came close to “critical locations” in Montana.

The three objects, which were shot down above Alaska, Canada’s Yukon region, and Lake Huron because to a potential threat to civil aviation, were smaller than the balloon, shared many of its characteristics, and were all moving at a lower altitude, according to U.S. officials.

According to Kirby, we could determine that China has a high-altitude balloon program for intelligence connected to the People’s Liberation Army.

Who stated at a press conference that the U.S. government does not yet know where the last three objects originated. The balloon, however, was fitted with solar panels and antennas.

Such balloons have “limited” capabilities, according to Kirby, but if technology advances, China may find the program to be “more worthwhile.”

Because of the balloon incident, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his trip to Beijing and the two nations’ verbal sparring continued.

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First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong and his Japanese counterpart Mori Takeo shake hands after their talks in Washington, Monday (local time). Joint Press Corp

China has insisted the balloon was used for weather research, blown off course, and accused the United States of overreacting.

In addition to the incident, Sherman claimed she spoke with the diplomats of her country’s major Asian allies about North Korea, Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, and their common desire for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

At the news conference, she declared that the United States would band together with South Korea, Japan, and other allies to “fight back on the PRC behavior that threatens the rules-based regional and global order.”

She asserted that the nations would “continue working for sustaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait” in addition to retaliating against China’s destabilizing operations in the South and East China seas.


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