By Debbie Gregory.
On December 28, 2014, a trilateral information sharing arrangement was signed between the U.S., the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan. The agreement pools information regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (North Korea) nuclear and missile threats.
The U.S. has already separately maintained agreements with South Korea and Japan. In 2012, South Korea and Japan attempted to form a pact to share intelligence. But the attempt failed due to public disapproval among the people of South Korea. South Koreans harbored ill-feelings towards Japan and its people because of atrocities committed by the Japanese Empire before and during and before WWII, when Korea was a Japanese colony– and whose people were mistreated.
The U.S. brokered the deal so that all three countries can share intel directly with each other, thus alleviating the mistrust among its two biggest Asian allies.
The Trilateral Information Sharing Agreement provides that the three nations will do the following:
- Establish a mechanism to enable the sharing of classified information concerning threats posted by North Korea.
- Classified materials can be exchanged through any form, including written, oral, digital, electronic, magnetic, visual, and documentary forms.
- Each participant will protect the security of any classified materials shared under the agreement.
- South Korea and Japan may opt to share intelligence using the United States as a go-between.
- Any information shared with the U.S. DOD will be designated with an equivalent U.S. security classification, and safeguarded accordingly. The DOD will then share the materials with the other participant.
- Each participant will make the full text of this arrangement public.
- The arrangement is not intended to have any legal binding effects under international law or domestic laws of any participant. Each participant is intended to implement the arrangement in accordance with their domestic laws and restrictions.
- Each participant is expected to give the others written notice of their intention to discontinue participation.
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Military Connection: US, Japan, S. Korea Sign Pact: By Debbie Gregory