The US is hoping to operationalize a trilateral military intelligence sharing agreement with South Korea and Japan to build a robust security partnership with its allies.
David Shear, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, made the remark in a speech at the think tank Atlantic Council, referring to the information-sharing memorandum of understanding that the three countries signed last year.
"We look forward to seizing the momentum to operationalize the information sharing arrangement and build a robust and resilient trilateral relationship that will continue to promote regional deterrence," he said.
The MOU calls for voluntary sharing of military secrets on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the deal paved the way for Seoul and Tokyo to share such intelligence via the US, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.
In 2012, the two nations failed to strike a bilateral intelligence sharing deal in 2012 due to negative public sentiment in South Korea about signing such a pact with the former colonial ruler.
After working out a detailed formula for intelligence sharing, the sides began sharing intelligence earlier this year. Shear's remarks appear to suggest that the current level of information sharing is not enough and the US hopes to put the agreement to more active use.
North Korea is considered dangerous threat and security challenge because of its nuclear activities, missile development and also threat of proliferation of those capabilities and also due to uncertainities related with the current regime in Pyongyang.
"All of these combine to produce a threat not only to the ROK, but to Japan, the region and to the United States as well," he said.