Japan, South Korea and the United States have agreed to work toward launching a mechanism to share real-time warning data on North Korean missile launches “before the end of the year,” the countries’ defense chiefs said Saturday.

In a joint statement released after a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of a regional security conference in Singapore, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and U.S. defense chief Lloyd Austin said they had discussed “ongoing progress” in consultations, calling the mechanism “a major step for deterrence, peace and stability.”

“At this meeting, we confirmed the progress of our study on the real-time sharing of North Korean missile warning data and agreed to make further progress toward the launch of initial operations within the next few months,” Hamada told reporters at the Shangri-La Dialogue conference. “The specific details and the timing of the operational launch are still being worked out, but we will make every effort to achieve this at the earliest possible time.”