US, Seoul, Tokyo to sign trilateral intelligence-sharing pact
Iran Press TV
Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:42AM GMT
The Unites states, South Korea and Japan are set to sign their first-ever trilateral intelligence-sharing pact next week.
The South Korean deputy defense minister and his US and Japanese counterparts will formally sign the deal in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Monday.
Senior South Korean officials said Friday that the move was designed to better cope with North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile threats.
According to a statement from the South Korean Defense Ministry, Japan and South Korea would share intelligence, only on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, via the United States.
Washington already has separate, bilateral intelligence-sharing agreements with Seoul and Tokyo.
Both countries are considered as close US allies across the troubled Asia-Pacific region and are hosts to tens of thousands of American troops.
The United States and its allies say the pact would enable the three countries to swiftly respond to any North Korean 'provocation.'
South Korea and Japan have already staged a series of military exercises separately or jointly with the United States since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in December 2012.
North Korea accuses US President Barack Obama of plotting with regional allies to topple the government in Pyongyang, arguing that its nuclear program is a deterrent against US forces in the region.
North Korea says it will not relinquish its nuclear deterrence unless the United States ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea.
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