In a significant step to restore bilateral defense and security cooperation, Japan and South Korea agreed Saturday to resume defense exchanges and take measures to prevent a repeat of a 2018 incident that saw a South Korean warship direct its fire-control radar at a Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol plane.

At a meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue regional security conference in Singapore, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and his South Korean counterpart, Shin Won-sik, agreed to revitalize dialogue between the countries’ defense authorities, as the two sides seek to mend ties and shelve long-standing political differences — at least for now — to focus on mutual security concerns.

More specifically, the neighboring countries agreed to discuss holding annual vice-ministerial defense talks, resuming working-level defense dialogues as well as restoring high-level exchanges between the Self-Defense Forces and the South Korean military.