Japan, US, S.Korea to speed up data sharing on N.Korean missiles

The defense chiefs of Japan, the United States and South Korea have agreed to speed up the sharing of real-time data on North Korean missile launches.

Japan's Defense Minister Kihara Minoru joined via a video link a meeting between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik in Seoul on Sunday.

The defense chiefs condemned North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches. They stressed that even if the objective is to launch a satellite, using ballistic missile technology violates relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The chiefs said a new mechanism for data sharing is in the final stage of preparations. They agreed to accelerate efforts to officially activate it by the end of the year.

They also agreed to finalize a multiyear plan for trilateral military drills by the end of the year.

Kihara later told reporters that the three nations must cooperate to provide regional peace and stability given the severity of the security environment that includes the North Korean situation. He said Japan will collaborate more closely with South Korea and the United States.