Top government officials discussed North Korea and doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo on Monday at the first Cabinet Information Conference, a forum established last October to strengthen the government’s gathering and analysis of intelligence regarding security.

At the meeting, chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka, participants discussed how to handle possible missile launches by North Korea and decided to continue to collect detailed information about the Stalinist state.

The participants included deputy chief Cabinet secretaries Mitsuhiro Uesugi and Teijiro Furukawa; National Police Agency chief Yuko Sekiguchi; Vice Defense Minister Seiji Ema; Kazuhiro Sugita, head of the Cabinet Information Research Office; and Tadao Ando, head of the Cabinet Office for National Security Affairs and Crisis Management.

They also will hold a joint conference every two weeks involving bureau chiefs of the ministries and government agencies so the Cabinet can promptly obtain national security-related information.

Nonaka said at a news conference after the first meeting that the government will focus its information gathering on Aum Shinrikyo, which appears to be regaining popularity, the situation in Iraq and Indonesia, and crimes involving the use of poisonous chemical substances.

The conference will meet twice a year, but will also meet in emergency situations such as a missile launch or a terrorist attack, Nonaka said.

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