08:30 GMT +321 September 2019
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    People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's nuclear test at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)

    South Korea, Japan Sign Intelligence-Sharing Pact

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    South Korean Defense Ministry announced on Monday that Seoul and Tokyo signed intelligence-sharing pact to counter North Korean nuclear and missile threat, media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the media outlet, South Korea and Japan would conduct further consultations on the issue and sign the formal pact in the upcoming weeks.

    "South Korea and Japan held the third round of talks in Tokyo on Monday afternoon and initially signed the deal after reaching a consensus on overall terms of the pact," the ministry’s statement, quoted by Yonhap news agency, said.

    South Korean Defense Ministry also stressed the importance of the initiative for country’s national security.

    The negotiations on the pact began in 2012, but stopped as the opposition parties in Japan objected to the deal. After the two first rounds of the talks reopened in November, Tokyo and Seoul reportedly agreed on a few major points, including the prohibition to supply third parties with intelligence information without each other's approval and the necessity to inform the other party if the information has been compromised in any way.

    Opposition parties in Korea were reportedly dissatisfied with the agreement as they would like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to apologize for Japan's wartime transgressions.

    On September 9, North Korea claimed to have successfully exploded a nuclear warhead, having detonated a hydrogen bomb in January, which led to intensified tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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