South Korea has postponed at the last minute the signing of a landmark military agreement with Japan, amid anger in Seoul over the planned pact with a former colonial ruler.
THE information-sharing pact would have been their first military agreement since the end of Japan's brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over Korea.
It would have enabled the two sides, both of whom are close US allies, to swap intelligence about North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and other defence issues.
Many older Koreans have bitter memories of Japan's rule and military cooperation is a sensitive issue. Both the ruling and opposition parties in Seoul called for a delay, saying details have been kept secret.
A senior official of the ruling New Frontier Party, Chin Young, said the public opposes some aspects and it was inappropriate "to rush the signing of the agreement, with its details remaining unknown to the public".
Chin said parliament should have the right to debate the pact even though it is not subject to parliamentary approval.
In an announcement less than one hour before the deal was to be signed in Tokyo, the South's foreign ministry said the government would consult legislators before going ahead.
It was the second time Seoul had postponed the deal.
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