The South Korean military plans to set up a network this year to share information regarding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missiles with the U.S. and Japan, the country’s defense ministry said Friday. North Korea's claim of successfully testing a hydrogen bomb earlier this month also prompted South Korean President Park Geun-hye Friday to call a five-nation talk to denuclearize the North.
South Korea plans to use Link 16, a military tactical data exchange network used by the U.S. NATO and other countries, to share text and images of North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities on real-time basis, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the ministry’s 2016 policy plan. The Link 16’s interface control will be connected to that of the United States Forces Korea in Osan Air Base, 39 miles south of Seoul, and will allow South Korea to access U.S. information collected from its Defense Support Program over the Korean Peninsula.
"Despite the U.S.-Japan linkage, information sharing will not take place without the agreement from each side and, even if it takes place, it will be confined to subjects on North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles," a defense official said, according to Yonhap.
Meanwhile, Park proposed a five-nation meeting, excluding North Korea, with the U.S., China and other regional partners to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program. North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, claimed on Jan. 6 that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, drawing international outrage and condemnation.
“Relevant parties, although it is not an easy matter, should find out various and creative approaches such as trying five-party talks excluding North Korea,” Park said, according to Reuters. "I expect China to take an effective measure that can make North Korea realize development of nuclear weapons is futile and come into the international community like Iran," she added.
Beijing is perceived North Korea's ally and even though China criticized Pyongyang's nuclear test, experts expressed concerns that the world’s second-largest economy may not go too far against North Korea.