December 19, 2014 12:01
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are in the final stage of talks over a pact to share military intelligence on North Korea, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Thursday.
The U.S. and South Korea already share intelligence, as do Washington and Tokyo. But Seoul and Tokyo do not have such a pact amid deep resentment South Koreans still harbor against Japan over its colonial rule.
If the three countries sign the pact, they will be able to exchange key data on North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development plans.
The U.S. has been pushing South Korea and Japan to forge an intelligence-sharing pact. Seoul and Tokyo came close in 2012, but South Korea scrapped the plan at the last minute following a public outcry for handling the issue behind closed doors.
The Japanese daily said the trilateral pact that is now being pursued aims to quell negative sentiment in South Korea. The U.S. recommended a memorandum of understanding, which is not legally binding.
A government official here said, "We need to wrap up the pact in the near future following in-depth discussions."
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