While Pyongyang has traditionally sought to drive wedges between Washington, Tokyo and Seoul, its belligerent rhetoric and repeated provocations may be having the opposite effect.

North Korea’s numerous weapon tests are bringing the U.S. and its top Asian allies closer together, as Japan and South Korea put aside long-standing political differences — at least for now — to focus on mutual security interests.

At no point in time has this become clearer than after Pyongyang’s test-launch Tuesday of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan for the first time since 2017. That move prompted not only the defense ministers but also the leaders of all three countries to underline the importance of strengthening trilateral cooperation and limiting Pyongyang’s ability to support its ballistic missile and nuclear weapon programs.