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Japan, South Korea to discuss coordinated response on North Korea

High-level meetings are to take place as Tokyo and Seoul are in close talks about military intelligence sharing.

By Elizabeth Shim
Japan, South Korea to discuss coordinated response on North Korea
Seoul and Tokyo are coordinating efforts more closely after North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test last Friday. Photo by Yonhap/UPI

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Top diplomats of South Korea and Japan are to meet in New York on Sunday to discuss a coordinated response to North Korea's nuclear provocations.

The talks are being held at a time when both countries are revisiting a canceled intelligence-sharing agreement known as the Japan-Korea GSOMIA, South Korean newspaper Herald Business reported.

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Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday that Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is to hold the dialogue with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida ahead of measures to be taken at the United Nations Security Council, including further sanctions against Pyongyang.

Representatives to the six-party talks of both countries also exchanged a phone call regarding North Korea's fifth nuclear test, Seoul said, according to Yonhap.

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A South Korean think tank has recently suggested Seoul pursue military intelligence sharing with Japan.

The Japan-Korea GSOMIA was canceled in 2012 due to South Korean domestic opposition, but more South Korean experts are supporting the agreement in the wake of North Korea's multiple provocations.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had exchanged views in Vientiane, Laos, on bilateral protection of shared intelligence – a meeting that took place as relations between Seoul and Tokyo have improved in the wake of an agreement on the issue of comfort women.

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Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada had also requested an agreement on the bilateral protection of shared intelligence during a phone call to South Korea's Han Min-koo, according to the South Korean press report.

But Han had said any agreement with Japan is to be made according to domestic consensus.

In early September, a Japanese command to "destroy" incoming North Korea missiles repeatedly failed when North Korea launched three ballistic missiles that landed west of Hokkaido, prompting concerns in the country.

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