S.Korea, Japan 'Seek 1st-Ever Military Pact'

      January 05, 2011 09:04

      Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa will visit Seoul next week for talks with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin over agreements on mutual military support and the sharing of military secrets.

      Seoul and Tokyo reportedly plan to sign the agreements this year. They would mark South Korea's first-ever military pacts with the former colonial power following several memorandums of understanding in the past.

      The Korean Navy and Japan's Self-Defense Forces conduct a joint search and rescue drill in the sea between the two countries in June 2007.

      Military experts believe the aim is to deal with an emergency on the Korean Peninsula including the collapse of North Korea, but the Defense Ministry denies the plans.

      Responding to a Japanese media report, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said, "We have not considered or discussed the new declaration with Japan." The Yomiuri Shimbun reported the two countries are preparing a joint declaration to be signed when President Lee Myung-bak visits Tokyo in the first half of this year.

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