Around Asia Pacific & Oceania [12.30.14]

Japan & South Korea

Japan’s vice foreign minister, Akitaka Saiki, left, and the South Korean diplomat Cho Tae-yong, in Seoul. The two nations agreed to share military information about North Korea.

Japan’s vice foreign minister, Akitaka Saiki, left, and the South Korean diplomat Cho Tae-yong, in Seoul. The two nations agreed to share military information about North Korea.

Japan and South Korea on Monday pledged for the first time to share military intelligence about North Korean weapons programs, in a three-way pact with the United States that Washington hopes will improve cooperation between its mutually estranged Asian allies.

Defense analysts called the agreement a small but symbolic breakthrough because it brought together Japan and South Korea, two prosperous democracies that have been divided by disputes over history and territory.

Under the pact, the sharing of classified information will be limited to North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. In addition, Japan and South Korea will share that intelligence not directly, but via the United States.”

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