Seoul plans to “normalize” cooperation with Japan to help deal with threats from North Korea
South Korea wants to make peace with Japan at the very least in terms of security issues cooperation. Seoul also seeks assistance to deal with North Korea’s increasing missile and nuclear threat.
“Although several bilateral issues remain unsolved between South Korea and Japan, we intend to have the two sides put their wisdom together to reach reasonable solutions in a way that reflects the shared interests of the two countries,”South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jongsup spoke at a Singapore security forum on Sunday.
Outreach for “serious dialogue” with Tokyo by newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol’s administration will include not only normalizing security relations between the countries, but also ramping up trilateral cooperation with the US in countering North Korean threats, Lee said. He said that Yoon also aims to “drastically reinforce the response capabilities of the South Korean military”To deal with Pyongyang in a strong position.
Lee, his Japanese and US counterparts met Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue. The forum was a platform for discussing defense cooperation. It was the first time that South Korean and Japanese defense chiefs had met in person since November 2019.
In August 2019, Seoul ended an intelligence-sharing arrangement with Japan due to a dispute between the two countries. According to the agreement, South Korea had previously shared with Japan information regarding the North Korean nuclear program and missile launches.
South Korea’s relationship with Tokyo soured in 2018, after a Seoul court ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation for their use of forced laborers during Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula. Japan responded with new sanctions against South Korea for exporting high-tech materials. The two countries have long had strained ties, largely because of rows stemming from Japan’s colonization of the peninsula and use of Korean sex slaves for its troops during World War II.
South Korea, however, is prepared to end tensions with Yoon trying to de-nuclearize its peninsula and North Korea speeding up missile testing. North Korea conducted at most 18 missile testing this year, and it has pledged to increase its arsenal of nuclear weapons through joint US-South Korea military exercises. This is a rehearsal for an invasion.
North Korea could conduct its first nuclear-bomb test since 2017. “in the coming days,”According to Ned Price (US State Department spokesperson), the statement was made last week. Washington has pledged to a “swift and forceful response”If such tests are conducted.
Technically, the two Koreas are still at war nearly seven decades after they ended their terrible conflict in 1953. This is because both countries only signed an armistice and not a peace accord. The Korean War resulted in nearly 5,000,000 deaths.
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