SEOUL, December 29. /TASS/. An agreement between South Korea, the United States and Japan on exchanging intelligence data on North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats comes into force on Monday, Seoul’s Defense Ministry says.
The cooperation will be carried out through the United States, which maintains separate bilateral military agreements on sharing intelligence information with both South Korea and Japan.
The three countries plan to “have follow-up consultations to determine the level of information to be shared," the official was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying.
"The discussions will be about what kind of information will be provided under what circumstance, as well as what level of information will be passed when it is given off-line," he said.
The US Department of Defense said in a statement the arrangement creates a framework by which the defense authorities of the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan “may voluntarily share classified information.”
“The arrangement does not impose any new legal obligations on the signatories,” the statement said, adding that the US Department of Defense is to serve as the “hub for information shared trilaterally.”
Information sharing will allow for “a more effective response to future provocations” from North Korea and also advance the security of the three signatories, it says.
North Korea carried out three underground nuclear tests in the period from 2006 to February 2013. In addition, Pyongyang has launched a total of 111 missiles this year.
The signing of the pact comes two years after a similar bilateral information-sharing agreement between Seoul and Tokyo was ruptured due to fierce criticism in the South Korean society that remembers the Japanese military crimes committed during World War II.