Go to contents

Seoul, Washington, Tokyo to complete missile alert-sharing system

Seoul, Washington, Tokyo to complete missile alert-sharing system

Posted November. 08, 2023 08:04,   

Updated November. 08, 2023 08:04


South Korea, the United States, and Japan are set to complete the establishment of a real-time missile alert information-sharing system for North Korea by the end of this month, with plans to officially announce it in the coming weeks. It was a year before the leaders of these three countries decided to integrate their systems in Phenom Penh, Cambodia in November 2022 to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. The system is expected to be operational as early as the end of this year to counter Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches. This system will enable the three countries to swiftly share information on the entire trajectory of a missile, from its launch point to its impact point, using surveillance and reconnaissance assets, ultimately enhancing their collective response capabilities.

"The establishment of the real-time missile alert information sharing system among the U.S., South Korea, and Japan is expected to be completed by the end of this month,” government sources said on Tuesday. “The relevant schedules are being coordinated by the defense authorities engaged in practical discussions.” It has also been reported that there is consideration of issuing a joint statement by high-ranking defense officials from the three allies around the time of the South Korea-U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) next week and the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit South Korea for the SCM next Wednesday, and there are ongoing discussions on a gathering of the defense ministers from South Korea, the U.S., and Japan shortly before the SCM.

"The sharing of missile alert information is a core agenda for the three countries' leaders to enhance security cooperation, and practical discussions between the relevant authorities have been progressing smoothly," another government source mentioned. Previously, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan conducted an initial test run of the alert-sharing system right before the South Korea-the U.S.-Japan trilateral summit at Camp David in August. They have been continuously reviewing and inspecting the system, especially during missile defense exercises at sea.

The real-time missile alert method aims to transform the existing bilateral information-sharing systems between South Korea and the U.S. or between the U.S. and Japan into an interactive three-way communication system. When North Korea launches a missile, the South Korean military and the U.S. forces in South Korea have been sharing real-time missile information detected by surveillance and reconnaissance assets through their respective Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) systems. Similar systems have been in place for the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. forces in Japan. Now, the new system aims to connect these command and control systems, including the radar systems of U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan, through the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's Hawaii-based coordination center.

Once the real-time intelligence-sharing system is established among the three countries, it will reduce errors in the detection results caused by the earth's curvature and enable quick joint responses. "South Korea can enhance its capability to counter North Korean missiles as well as submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and Japan can also strengthen its intelligence on missile boost phase.”

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com