South Korea, Japan to resume talks on military information-sharing pact

"We are focused on increasing the pressure on North Korea with one goal: to bring it back to the table to negotiate in good faith".

The Security Council is now discussing a new resolution to punish North Korea over its fifth nuclear test in September - having already imposed tough economic measures after a fourth test in January.

But despite sanctions and global pressure, Pyongyang has pledged to continue its nuclear program to protect itself from the threat posed by the presence of USA forces in the region.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, Japanese and South Korean counterparts Shinsuke Sugiyama, center, and Lim Sung-Nam, attend a joint press conference in the Iikura guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.

There was separate progress on implementing intelligence sharing between South Korea and Japan. Denuclearization. That is the objective, " he added, according to the news site.

State Department spokesman John Kirby has already rebuffed Clapper's position, stressing that "nothing has changed" with the Obama administration's policy of pushing the North - through a toughened sanction regime - to give up its nuclear weapons.

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The deputy foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and the US made the announcement after meeting in Tokyo. "We need to respond differently than in the past", he said.

Lim said his government had made a decision to resume talks with Japan for the conclusion of General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), a pact that would share sensitive information on North Korea's missile and nuclear activities. "During the meeting, we will have an in-depth discussion on coordination among the three countries in the face of the North's threat and provocations, while seeking to intensify additional sanctions of our own and pressure against it".

The official said releasing information is mainly due to escalating tensions on the peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region due to the North's continued nuclear and missile development programs. A bilateral agreement between South Korea and Japan would enable a quicker transfer of information between the countries in urgent situations.

The signing of the agreement was expected in 2012, but South Korea postponed it amid domestic opposition against concluding such a security pact with Japan, a one-time colonial ruler.

Associated Press writer Tong-hyung Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

  • Sonia Alvarado