S. Korea dismisses report on Seoul-Tokyo military intel pact
SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Monday that gaining the public's support is a prerequisite for Seoul to review whether to seek a pact on sharing military intelligence with Japan.
Japan's Kyodo News reported Sunday that South Korea and Japan seem to hold the view that conditions are ripe for deepening military cooperation, saying that Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Seoul is mulling reviewing whether to clinch a Seoul-Tokyo pact on sharing military intelligence.
In 2012, the two nations initialed such a pact to spur the exchange of information on North Korea. But Seoul suspended its signing due to strong opposition from civic groups, which claimed the deal was inked hastily and behind the scenes.
Seoul's defense ministry dismissed the report, adding that Han's remarks meant that various factors should be first taken into consideration.
"Support from the National Assembly and the general public should be prerequisites for the accord to be clinched," the Defense Ministry said.
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing international condemnation. Seoul and Washington view the launch as a disguised test of intercontinental ballistic missile technology.
In December 2014, South Korea, the United States and Japan signed a preliminary deal that calls for voluntary sharing of military secrets on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs among the three countries.
The deal paved the way for Seoul and Tokyo to share such intelligence via the U.S. after they failed to strike the accord on sharing military intelligence in 2012.