S. Korea considered for expanded “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance

Posted on : 2021-09-03 18:25 KST Modified on : 2021-09-03 18:25 KST
Other nations eyed include Japan, India and Germany
(Yonhap News)
(Yonhap News)

A proposal to add four countries including South Korea to the US-led “Five Eyes” alliance for sharing intelligence among key US allies — the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — is being discussed in the US Senate.

A draft of the “National Defense Authorization Act for the 2022 Fiscal Year” released by the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations under the House Armed Services Committee mentions details of a plan to expand and strengthen the Five Eyes alliance under the heading “intelligence sharing systems.”

In the draft, the subcommittee wrote, “The threat landscape has vastly changed since the inception of the Five Eyes arrangement, with primary threats now emanating from China and Russia.” Five Eyes was born out of World War II when the US and the UK began sharing information for purposes such as cracking German codes, and the alliance grew larger during the Cold War period through the addition of three Commonwealth countries.

“The committee believes that, in confronting great power competition, the Five Eye countries must work closer together, as well as expand the circle of trust to other like-minded democracies.” the subcommittee wrote, specifically listing Korea, Japan, India and Germany.

“The committee directs the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, to provide a report to the House Committee on Armed Services, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the congressional intelligence committees, not later than May 20, 2022, on current intelligence and resource sharing agreements between the United States and the countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom,” the draft continued.

Along with an evaluation of the possibility of expanding Five Eyes, the committee also called for cost benefit analysis on having each of the four other countries, including Korea, join the alliance.

The draft must undergo internal deliberation in the House Committee on Armed Services, a vote in a full meeting of the House of Representatives, discussion in Joint House and Senate Committees, and a vote in a full meeting of the House and Senate.

By Jeong In-hwan, Beijing correspondent

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