"To counter the North Korean threat, I would like to reach an agreement with the new South Korean president on cooperation between Japan and South Korea, as well as on the trilateral cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States in the security sphere," Abe said, speaking in the budget committee of the parliament's lower chamber.
South Korea is holding snap election Tuesday after the state’s Constitutional Court upheld on March 10 the parliament's decision to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal. Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea, Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party and conservative Hong Joon-pyo are considered to be the front-runners in the presidential race.
What is termed as North Korean "threat" has apparently increased after Pyongyang carried out a number of ballistic and missile launches, violating the corresponding resolution adopted by the United Nations, over the past two months. Namely, during the time North Korea launched four ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan, reportedly launched another from Sinpho, South Hamgyong province, and conducted a failed missile launch on April 16.