The heads of the Japanese and South Korean coast guards agreed Tuesday to strengthen information-sharing on suspected North Korean spy ships should they be spotted off the two countries’ coasts, Japanese officials said.

Japan Coast Guard Commandant Kenichi Fukaya and Park Bong Tae, commissioner of the South Korea National Maritime Police Agency, reached the agreement at a meeting in the Japan Coast Guard building in Tokyo.

They also agreed that special security teams of the two coast guards would conduct joint drills in response to a recent wave of terrorist attacks around the world, including the deadly bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali and an attack on a French oil tanker near Yemen.

In the meeting, the officials said, Fukaya briefed Park on the sinking in December of a North Korean spy ship after a shootout with Japan Coast Guard vessels off Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Japan said Oct. 4 after salvaging the vessel that the ship was engaged in espionage or drug-smuggling operations.

Park told Fukaya that South Korea will be able to offer Japan useful information about North Korean spy ships, the officials also said.

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