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S. Korea, Japan practice sharing info during missile defense drill: sources

All News 10:27 April 03, 2016

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Japan practiced sharing information during an international missile defense exercise led by the United States, bolstering their defense ties in response to growing threats from North Korea, sources said Sunday.

The two countries paired up in the drill, called Nimble Titan 16, where some 20 countries participated to practice information sharing, offense operations and anticipatory self-defense.

The five-day training, which took place in February, was based on a mock submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) attack from North Korea.

South Korea's defense ministry, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy and Air Force, experts from the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses and diplomatic officials participated in the drill.

The defense ministry is known to have said in the evaluation report that an information sharing channel should be established among allies and regional players before crises occur, according to the sources.

It also said boosting ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities is crucial to conduct offense operations against the North's possible missile attack.

The ministry expects the ballistic missile defense (BMD) simulation software, which the military is planning to purchase, to help South Korea analyze the effectiveness of info sharing with allies, according to the sources.

The U.S. played a key role in teaming up with neighboring countries, which some experts said could be an effort to coax the two countries into signing the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

A previous attempt to sign the GSOMIA was scrapped in 2010 amid strong backlash from the South Korean public over the way the government handled the deal. South Koreans still harbor deep resentment and suspicions toward Japan because the country ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45.

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