Japan and South Korea are pushing for a meeting between the two countries’ defense vice ministers in order to finally advance the stalled talks on the planned intelligence pact. If the meeting will push through, it will be the first time since November 2011 that there will be a defense vice ministerial meeting between the East Asian neighbors who are currently at odds due to territorial and historical issues.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense has asked the South Korean Ministry of National Defense for their respective vice ministers, Japan’s Masanori Nishi and his counterpart Baek Seung Joo, to meet on the sidelines of the Asian vice ministerial meeting to be held in Seoul this November. The agenda would be to discuss the possibility of resuming talks over the intelligence treaty that would see the two countries exchanging information that pertain to defense issues. The conclusion of the pact was postponed because of strong opposition from the South Korean public.
After the vice ministerial meeting, Tokyo will also be urging a ministerial defense meeting, which will be the first since June 2011. They will also try to explain to Seoul the reason behind the current discussion about exercising the right to collective self-defense, which South Korea is strongly opposed to. They have said that Japan needs to ask permission to implement this in the Korean peninsula.
Meanwhile, Japan is eager to get the intelligence treaty signed in light of increasing security concerns in the region, particularly because of North Korea‘s nuclear and missile development program. While Pyongyang has been silent of late after months of constant threats, the possibility of an attack is always there, and Japan and South Korea are the two major probable targets.
[ via Global Post ]
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