China Opposes South Korea-Japan Intelligence Sharing Deal

On Wednesday, China’s defense ministry voiced its concerns over the newly minted agreement between South Korea and Japan that would see the two countries share intelligence on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile activities. A spokesman for the ministry said the deal promoted a “Cold War mentality” for Northeast Asia and went on to say that China would remain committed to protecting its ally North Korea as well as regional stability and security.
The Cipher Take: Beijing is often wary of defense agreements in its immediate neighborhood, especially ones that concern North Korea. In addition to the intelligence agreement, Beijing has also been critical of the U.S.-South Korean deal to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea as a hedge against North Korean hostility. Though it is still willing to defend its prickly ally, Beijing has backed UN sanctions that target North Korea’s nuclear program. As North Korea advances its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles—which China has also labeled as a threat to regional stability—Beijing’s alliance with Pyongyang is becoming harder to justify.


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