S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold teleconference to share intelligence on DPRK missile launch
SEOUL, Feb. 5 (INP): Defense authorities of South Korea, the United States and Japan on Friday held a video conference to share intelligence to prepare for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s planned launch of a long-range rocket.
An unidentified South Korean military official was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying that the three nations held a deputy department head-level video teleconference as scheduled earlier in the morning.
Senior military officials of the three allies shared intelligence relevant to the DPRK’s missile launch, while assessing current situations of the pending launch of Pyongyang’s long-range ballistic missile, according to the report.
The intelligence-sharing contact came as the DPRK announced its plan on Tuesday to launch a long-range rocket between Feb. 8 and 25 to put an observation satellite into orbit.
The announcement was made amid ongoing discussions in UN Security Council to add new sanctions against the DPRK for its claim on Jan. 6 that it had tested the first of its hydrogen bomb.
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan exchanged intelligence on the DPRK’s long-range missile within the framework of the intelligence-sharing pact signed in late 2014 by the three countries, the Seoul military official said.
Agreements to share intelligence on the DPRK’s nuclear and missile threats had been reached between Seoul and Washington and between Tokyo and Washington each, but not between Seoul and Tokyo.
Military intelligence between South Korea and Japan can be shared only through the United States.
To detect and track the possibly launched DPRK rocket, the South Korean military deployed various surveillance assets, including Aegis-equipped destroyer, ground-based Green Pine radar and Peace Eye airborne early warning and control aircraft.
South Korea has warned of shooting down debris that fall on its territory or territorial waters from a DPRK rocket, which was estimated by the Seoul military to fly over its western border island of Baengnyeong at an altitude of about 180 km. The military regards its airspace as an area below an altitude of 100 km.