South Korea, the U.S., and Japan have agreed to establish and operate a system to share North Korean missile warning information in real time within this year. North Korea’s nuclear and missile response capabilities are expected to improve significantly when North Korean missile warning information, which has been shared between South Korea and the United States and Japan in real time or belatedly exchanged between South Korea and Japan via the US, is changed to real-time sharing among the three countries.
Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada held a trilateral meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel on the 3rd on the occasion of the 20th Asia Security Conference (aka Shangri-La Dialogue) being held in Singapore and shared real-time information on North Korean missile warnings. The timing of system operation was nailed within this year.
After the meeting, the ministers of the three countries issued a joint press statement and said, “According to the agreement reached by President Seok-yeol Yun of the Republic of Korea, President of the United States Joe Biden, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan at the Phnom Penh Summit in Cambodia in November of last year, each country’s detection and evaluation of missiles launched by North Korea We have decided to operate a real-time sharing mechanism for missile warning information to enhance our capabilities within this year.” Real-time information sharing between Korea, the U.S. and Japan has entered the countdown after about 7 months since the official remarks by the heads of the three countries.
“We will discuss progress through working-level discussions on technical issues,” said the ministers of the three countries. Currently, it is known that South Korea, the U.S., and Japan are conducting frequent discussions with working-level officials on information sharing methods instead of operating a separate official consultative body to share information on North Korean missile warnings in real time.
Regarding the detailed information sharing method, Minister Lee met with reporters immediately after the meeting and said, “We have decided to link the (existing) information sharing system in operation between Korea and the United States and Japan.” In a joint press statement, the three countries stated that “the three countries’ ministers reaffirmed that they would promote trilateral cooperation by utilizing the Korea-US-Japan Information Sharing Agreement (TISA) signed in 2014.”
Currently, when North Korea launches a missile, South Korea and the United States share detailed specifications such as flight distance, altitude, and type of ammunition captured by various detection assets such as the Green Pine radar and Aegis ships of the South Korean military, and information identified by US reconnaissance satellites and reconnaissance aircraft in real time. synthesize The U.S. and Japan also respond by sharing North Korean missile warning information in real time with a similar system. Based on TISA, Korea and Japan are not directly exchanging information with each other, but are sharing warning information through the United States. Since it is not real-time, it has been pointed out that an information vacuum occurs due to the lack of speed in information sharing in responding to North Korean nuclear missiles, where speed is the key.
If real-time information sharing is carried out among the three countries, the South Korean military, which was somewhat vulnerable to collecting information on the descent stage and impact of the North Korean missile due to the curvature of the earth, will be able to receive relevant information from Japan immediately, and Japan will also be able to receive information about the missile ascent stage with which the South Korean military is superior. As information can be received immediately, errors in North Korean missile detection and analysis results are expected to be significantly reduced. Blind spots in North Korean missile analysis are also expected to be minimized.
Some say that North Korea is raising the level of provocations, such as launching the space launch vehicle ‘Chollima-1’, which is equivalent to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on May 31 last month. There are also observations that the time to build the system may be advanced. On the same day, the ministers of the three countries strongly condemned North Korea through a joint statement, saying, “North Korea’s launch of a long-range ballistic missile in the name of a satellite is a serious violation of the UN Security Council resolution banning any launch using ballistic missile technology.” In his speech before the summit, Minister Lee also criticized North Korea for being the only country that threatens to preemptively strike a specific country using nuclear weapons, referring to North Korea’s series of provocations such as the launch of the Chollima-1 and nuclear threats. “The recent strengthening of security cooperation between South Korea and Japan and between South Korea and the U.S. and Japan is also an inevitable measure to protect freedom and peace in the region from North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile threats,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the ministers from the three countries discussed ways to strengthen trilateral training to respond to North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles, which is the key to strengthening security cooperation between Korea, the U.S. and Japan, as well as real-time sharing of North Korean missile warning information. In a joint statement, the three countries announced that “the ministers of the three countries promised to hold regular defensive exercises such as anti-submarine warfare training and maritime missile defense training that contribute to deterring the North Korean threat.”
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.