The nuclear and missile threats from North Korea have grown from the comical ravings a nation that clearly isn’t self-aware into a serious threat that must be addressed. As North Korea’s nuclear capabilities become more advanced, so too does the nation’s aggressiveness. Threats from North Korea have increased dramatically following the nation’s third nuclear test back in February of 2013.
These threats are especially meaningful for the two nations that rest well within the range of North Korea’s weapons: Japan and South Korea. Considering that both of them are facing this threat and both of them are strong allies of the United States, together hosting tens of thousands of American troops, it makes sense that the two of them should peruse some kind of pact to deal with North Korea.
This is something that the two nations came close to achieving back in 2012 with their first-ever intelligence-sharing pact. Unfortunately, there’s a long-running history of disputes stemming from Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and the signing of the pact was scrapped at the last minute due to backlash in South Korea.
However, South Korean officials are claiming that North Korea has made a lot of progress in its goal of manufacturing nuclear warheads that are small enough and light enough to be placed on a missile capable of reaching the United States. With North Korea’s nuclear capabilities reaching worrisome proportions, it seems that Japan and South Korea have finally put aside their differences. Officials in Seoul announced earlier today that Japan, South Korea, and the United States will be signing their first-ever trilateral intelligence-sharing pact next week.
“We believe that the agreement will be very effective in deterring the communist country from launching provocations in the first place,” said a South Korean defense ministry official, as quoted by the Korea Herald. “The cooperation between the three nations is expected to boost the quality of the intelligence on North Korea, which will enable the allies to respond to possible provocations in a swifter fashion.”
The United States already has separate bilateral intelligence-sharing agreements with Japan and South Korea, but this new trilateral agreement will give the three nations an unprecedented level of cooperation capabilities, and will enable them to react to threats from North Korea in a much faster, more organized manner. The formal signing of the pact by the South Korean vice defense minister and his Japanese and American counterparts is expected to take place on Monday