South Korea has responded to reports that it is to sign a military acquisition pact with Japan with caution, saying that as yet it has no immediate plans.
Yonhap news agency reported defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok as telling reporters Monday that the South had "not discussed the issue of signing the ACSA [Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement] with Japan recently and has no such plan for now."
Japanese daily Nikkei reported Sunday that Tokyo was gearing up to sign the ACSA with its neighbor in a move to strengthen security ties.
On Monday, however, Seoul appeared cautious.
"We feel it's necessary to sign the pact, for example, to help in cases of launching overseas peacekeeping operations, but our judgment is that now is not the appropriate time to sign it considering diverse pending bilateral issues," Kim said.
Major global powers, including the United States and Australia, have signed up to the ACSA with Japan.