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S.K., Japan, U.S. to meet on intelligence sharing Ė Yonhap

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Tripartite discussions between the South Korea, Japan and the United States are to take place later this week, the Yonhap News Agency has reported, with a focus on increased cooperation in intelligence sharing.

Long touted as a way for the two U.S. allies to form a united front against North Korea, cooperation between South Korea and Japan remains controversial due to Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. A similar military intelligence-sharing agreement between the two collapsed two years ago due to domestic resistance in South Korea.

The meeting is set to take place on the sidelines of the 13th Asia Security Summit (a.k.a. the Shangri-La Dialogue) including military/security officials and experts from 27 countries.

The talks between South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are expected to conclude with an acknowledgment of the need for a deal, a South Korean government official told the agency.

The official said that the meeting would likely not conclude with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the issue and also indicated that it would not mean Seoul is coming closer to joining a U.S. missile defense system aimed at countering China.

Nonetheless, the official said the meeting would be significant, as it would be the first time for officials from the three countries to get together to agree on the need for intelligence sharing.

Washington already has intelligence-sharing agreements with both Japan and South Korea.

Though both have taken a firm line against North Korea, the governments of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have had little contact, largely due to Abe’s controversial statements about Japan’s actions during colonization. Abe also infuriated Koreans and Chinese with his December visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors those who died in service to the Empire of Japan and includes war criminals.

Experts have warned that, among other things, disunity between Tokyo and Seoul leaves opportunities for Pyongyang to exploit. Japan and North Korea recently concluded a third round of talks on Japanese victims of North Korean abduction in the late 1970s and early ’80s in Sweden.

Article Credit: Nknews

Updated 5 Years ago

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