The United States, South Korea and Japan have agreed to share classified information about nuclear threats from North Korea. The U.S. Defense Department says the agreement took effect on Monday. The intelligence will pass through the Defense Department.
The new agreement links information-sharing agreements that already exist between the allies.
Kim Min-Seok is with South Korea’s Defense Ministry. He said the agreement does not force the countries to provide all of their related classified information. He says each country will decide what it releases.
He says “Military secrets are divided into first-, second- and third-level classified information, but the nation providing the information will decide on the level of classified material.”
Also this week, South Korean officials called for new peace talks with North Korea in January. Ryoo Kihl-jae is South Korea’s Unification Minister.
He says “North and South Korea should meet face to face to draw up a plan for a peaceful unification. For this purpose, we make an official proposal for the North Korean government to have a conversation about mutual concerns between North and South. We especially hope this meeting can lessen the sadness of separated families before New Year’s Day.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said North Korea should accept the proposal to open peace talks with the South. A UN statement said “renewed engagement and dialogue is the only way forward for building trust and promoting inter-Korean relations.”
North Korea has yet to answer the call for peace talks.
I’m Christopher Cruise.
VOA Correspondent Victoria Macchi reported this story from Washington. Christopher Cruise wrote it for VOA Learning English. George Grow edited the story.
Words from This Story
classified information – n. information that is kept secret from all but a few people in the government
face to face – idiom used to describe a situation in which two people are together and looking at each other
draw up a plan – phrasal verb to compose or write in a set form; to write out