South Korea and Japan on Monday at Seoul, gave initial approval to an intelligence-sharing programme with hopes that South Korea will reverse itself and sign it after domestic concerns torpedoed the pact four years ago.
The South Korean Defence Ministry said that the signing of the deal would allow the two countries to share classified data about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
It said the deal is known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
Any deal with Japan is controversial in South Korea, where memories still linger about Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945 and mistreatment of Koreans during that time.
At the last attempt to sign GSOMIA, South Korea eventually backed off because of domestic concerns.
The news prompted similar outrage, with opposition parties threatening to oust Defence Minister Han Koo if the deal goes through.
They accuse the government of trying to push through the deal without consulting the opposition.
Japanese news agency Kyodo says both countries want to ink the deal before the end of the month. (dpa/NAN)