S. KOREA-JAPAN MILITARY AGREEMENT / KBS뉴스(News)
South Korea will decide this week whether or not to extend a military information sharing pact with Japan, known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement. Now so far, Seoul has been considering terminating the agreement as a countermeasure to Tokyo’s export curbs imposed last month. Attention is being drawn to whether or not an upcoming meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan, will help resume dialogue between Seoul and Tokyo.
August 24 is the deadline for a decision on whether or not to extend the bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan. GSOMIA is automatically extended unless either of the two countries announces a decision to revoke it. South Korea’s presidential office has suggested the possibility that it could terminate the military intelligence sharing pact.
[Soundbite] KIM HYUN-CHONG(DEPUTY CHIEF OF NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICE (AUG.2)) : “It might be hard to maintain a military intelligence sharing pact with a country that raises a security issue with the lack of trust.”
However, this hard-line stance took a moderate turn around Independence Day, placing an emphasis on a diplomatic solution. The turning point will be a meeting among foreign ministers of Korea, China and Japan, which will be held shortly before the deadline for the GSOMIA decision. If top diplomats from Korea and Japan find common ground in the meeting, it will likely affect the Korean government’s decision. A presidential office official said that there remains only a final decision to be made on whether or not to extend GSOMIA with working-level discussions completed. President Moon Jae-in is expected to make a final decision based on the Japanese government’s moves this week as well as the results of the foreign ministers’ meeting. There are also chances that in line with such shifts, South Korea will likely adjust the timing and scale of a maritime defense drill on and around the nation