US

Intelligence-sharing pact between SKorea, Japan takes effect

  • South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    South Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • A South Korean protester scuffles with police officers during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the military agreement between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A South Korean protester scuffles with police officers during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the military agreement between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • South Korean protesters hold up their banners during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the military agreement between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    South Korean protesters hold up their banners during a rally to oppose the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korea's Cabinet on Tuesday approved an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan to better deal with threats from North Korea, officials said. The signs read "Stop, the military agreement between South Korea and Japan." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

South Korea says its intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan has taken effect after the two countries signed the pact to better monitor North Korea.

South Korea and Japan had so far exchanged military intelligence via the United States under a trilateral agreement signed in 2014. But the two Asian neighbors had no direct intelligence-sharing system largely because of disputes stemming from Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

South Korea's defense minister and Japan's ambassador in Seoul signed the deal Wednesday. Seoul's Foreign Ministry says the pact has taken effect.

Worries about North Korea's weapons programs have grown after North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful atomic bomb test in September.