WASHINGTON -- The White House said Friday next week's trilateral summit meeting between the U.S., South Korea and Japan is of great significance in that it will demonstrate
Washington's unswerving security commitment to Northeast Asia.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice emphasized that the Obama administration stays focused on its policy of re-balancing toward Asia.
"After a period of tension, we will bring together two of our closest allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, in a trilateral meeting that will send a powerful message about America's commitment to the security of Northeast Asia," she told reporters.
She was referring to Obama's plan to hold a tripartite meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts -- Park Geun-hye and Shinzo Abe -- on the sidelines of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit to take place in the Hague, the Netherlands, to open on Monday.
It would set the stage for the first-ever formal talks between Park and Abe since they took office, in an apparent breakthrough in long-strained ties between Seoul and Tokyo.
Another senior White House official described the upcoming trilateral session as "very important."
"We believe this is a very important message to show the United States aligned with our two most important allies in Northeast Asia," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
"It's a signal of our commitment to the security of Northeast Asia and our belief that, when the United States and our allies stand together, we are all much stronger in the region and in the world."