South Korea and Japan agreed to directly share military information such as satellite tracking of North Korea’s missiles. Photo: Getty Images
South Korea and Japan have agreed to directly share military information such as satellite tracking of North Korea’s missiles, reflecting increasing concerns about the threat from Pyongyang’s accelerating weapons program.
The pact, signed in Seoul on Wednesday, removes the need for the U.S. to be a go-between with intelligence from its allies, who have struggled to build cooperative ties due to lingering legacies of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
The deal was slated to be confirmed in 2012 but Seoul pulled out less than an hour before the signing ceremony because of domestic opposition to closer relations to Tokyo.
North Korea’s two nuclear tests and dozens of missiles tests this year have given fresh impetus to defense coordination between South Korea and Japan, the two nations in most immediate danger from North Korean missiles.
North Korea has sharply criticized talks over the deal in its state media, while the agreement also drew a rebuke from China, which said it would increase tensions in the region.
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Image courtesy of New York Times