Ministry cites Japan’s ‘grave change’ in security cooperation as reason for ending intel-sharing pact

SEOUL-- South Korea decided to end a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan as Tokyo first caused a "grave change" in security cooperation between the two countries, Seoul's foreign ministry said Thursday.

Last week, Seoul announced the termination of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Tokyo, seen as a rare security platform to promote trilateral defense cooperation with its mutual ally, Washington.

"We determined that it does not meet our national interest to maintain a pact concluded with the purpose of sharing sensitive military information as the Japanese government raised issues of damaged trust and security concern," the ministry said in a report prepared for a parliamentary meeting.

But the session was called off at the last minute amid partisan bickering.

Saturday was the deadline for either side to express such an intent before GSOMIA was to be automatically renewed. The pact will expire in late November.

Despite the decision, the ministry said it will continue to seek diplomacy with its neighbor so as to resolve the long-running issue of wartime forced labor, and to demand Tokyo withdraw the export restrictions on Seoul.

The ministry also plans to continue efforts to inform the international community of Japan's unjust economic measures, particularly on the occasion of the U.N. General Assembly slated to take place in New York next month, it added.

Concerning the growing displeasure from the U.S. over GSOMIA termination, the government will make sure it maintains a firm posture of military readiness with its ally for regional security and against North Korean threats, according to the ministry.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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