The United States, South Korea and Japan have signed off on a pact that will let them share sensitive information about North Korea’s nuclear and missile efforts, the Defense Department announced late Sunday.
The Pentagon said the first of its kind intelligence-gathering agreement would advance the security of the three nations.
“In particular, information sharing among the signatories on the nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea will allow for a more effective response to future provocations and during contingencies,” the DOD said in a statement.
The nine-point military agreement comes after a recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures that has increased tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
North Korea has denied any involvement, but blames the U.S. for recent Internet outages in the country, after the Obama administration vowed to respond to the hack.
The arrangement, which is not legally binding, creates a framework by which defense officials in the three countries can voluntarily share classified information.
That information “may be in any form, including oral, visual, electronic, magnetic, or documentary form,” according to the agreement.
The U.S. will serve as the “hub for information shared trilaterally,” the Pentagon said.
North Korea has conducted at least three underground nuclear detonations since 2006.
Many in the international community believe Pyongyang is close to completing the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.