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U.S. House resolution calls for stronger 3-way security cooperation with S. Korea, Japan

All News 01:23 March 08, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. House lawmaker has introduced a resolution calling for stronger trilateral cooperation between the U.S. and its Asian allies, South Korea and Japan, to counter North Korean threats and ensure regional security.

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced the bipartisan resolution (HR 634) last week, together with seven co-sponsors, including Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to congressional records.

"The House of Representatives reaffirms the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korea's destabilizing activities and nuclear proliferation, and to bolster regional security," the resolution said.

It also said the House supports joint military exercises and other efforts to strengthen cooperation and improve defense capabilities and "encourages the deployment and coordination of regional advanced ballistic missile defense systems."

Such advanced systems are believed to include the THAAD missile defense system that South Korea and the U.S. are considering bringing in to the South to better cope with North Korean nuclear and missile threats. China has voiced vehement opposition to such a deployment.

The resolution also calls for "the expansion of information and intelligence sharing" between the three countries and underscores the importance of the trilateral relationship in tracking North Korea human rights violations and holding it accountable for its abuses.

In December 2014, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for voluntary sharing of military secrets on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs between the three countries.

The deal paved the way for Seoul and Tokyo to share such intelligence via the U.S. after the two countries failed to strike a bilateral intelligence sharing deal in 2012 due in part to negative public sentiment in South Korea about signing such a pact with the former colonial ruler.

The agreement has since been put into action, but officials have suggested that there has been not enough information sharing taking place among the three countries.


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