S. Korea OK’s Japan intelligence deal
By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL — South Korea’s Cabinet approved a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan on Tuesday to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said, despite a warning from the North that the deal would deepen regional animosities.

The approval of the pact, which takes effect after its formal signing this week, also drew criticism from South Korean opposition lawmakers who view it as an attempt to divert attention from a huge political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

Seoul officials said that information from Japanese satellites and other high-tech systems is necessary to thoroughly monitor developments in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Worries about the North’s weapons programs have grown since September, when the country carried out its fifth nuclear test

Military cooperation with Japan is a divisive issue in South Korea, where many people still harbor strong resentment over Japan’s brutal 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Seoul and Tokyo nearly signed the pact in 2012 but South Korea backed off at the last minute following a public backlash.

Associated Press