Tokyo, Seoul to ink military pacts


South Korea and Japan will likely conclude two bilateral military agreements later this month, the first of their kind, South Korea’s Defense Ministry confirmed Tuesday.

“The two sides are consulting on procedures and the agenda with an aim (to sign the agreements) by the end of this month,” the ministry’s spokesman, Kim Min Seok, said in a press briefing.

Kim was commenting on a report by state-run KBS news network that the agreements — one on sharing military intelligence and the other on providing mutual support in terms of military equipment, for example — will be signed next Monday between South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin and his Japanese counterpart, Naoki Tanaka.

South Korean officials told KBS that the two countries’ defense officials have long held similar views on the need for bilateral agreements to share intelligence regarding movements by North Korea’s military and to strengthen cooperation in terms of munitions and logistics.