G7 leaders pledge to continue supporting Ukraine against Russian “aggression” and issue nuclear warnings to China and North Korea
Prior to the arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later on Saturday, leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies advised China and North Korea against increasing their nuclear arsenals and turned their attention to the serious northeast Asian concerns.
The Group of Seven meeting will put an emphasis on Asia as powers strengthen sanctions intended to penalize Moscow and reshape its 15-month incursion of Ukraine. Zelensky had a “strong wish” to take part in discussions that might affect his country’s defense against Russia, Japan revealed, therefore he decided to attend the G7 in person.
According to Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, President Joe Biden and Zelensky will have face-to-face interactions at the conference. This comes after Biden said he was in favor of teaching Ukrainian pilots how to operate F-16 fighter planes built in the US in order to eventually give the Ukrainian Air Force such aircraft.
As they sought to address a variety of urgent concerns at Hiroshima, including climate change, artificial intelligence (AI), poverty and economic instability, nuclear proliferation, and, most crucially, the war in Ukraine, world leaders had to strike a careful balance.
The second-largest economy in the world, China, is at the center of many of these issues.
Asia is becoming increasingly concerned that Beijing, which has been gradually enhancing its nuclear weapon development, may attempt to annex Taiwan by force, igniting a larger battle. China often sends ships and aircraft near the autonomous island and asserts ownership over it.
The G7 leaders issued a statement warning that China’s “accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal without transparency (or) meaningful dialogue poses a concern to global and regional stability.”
The leaders emphasized that North Korea must entirely abandon its intentions to produce nuclear weapons, including “any further nuclear tests or launches that use ballistic missile technology.” In an effort to refine a nuclear program aimed to strike the mainland United States, North Korea has started testing missiles more often. International nuclear agreements state that North Korea is not currently and never will be a nuclear-weapon state.
Following prior agreements to transfer Abrams tanks and rocket launcher systems, the Biden administration has now approved F-16 training as part of its effort to empower Ukraine with more cutting-edge and potent weapons.