Seoul and Tokyo

South Korea & Japan’s Rising Tension over Military Intelligence

The military intelligence pact known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan gets expired today, November 22, 2019.

Under the GSOMIA pact of the 2016 accord, South Korea provides secure information to Japan about the military development of North Korea and the pact is renewed annually.

However, following the announcement made in August 2019, South Korea is going to refuse to renew the pact with Japan today.

Conflicts over Trade and War History

Conflict of interest over trade is the main source for the development of such tension between the two countries.

South Korea’s decision of ending cooperation with Japan is a response to recent Japan’s imposition of restriction on technology exports and supplying semiconductors for memory-chips productions to South Korea.

Tokyo imposed trade restrictions against Seoul when South Korea’s highest court directed some Japanese companies to pay reparation for certain South Korean families as they were forced to work without pay during the Second World War.

As Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry states, he will resume the talk with his South Korean counterparts on the existing issue of export control.

However, Seoul will only join the talk when Tokyo accepts the one condition- removing the restriction on exports and settle the wartime reparation.

Advantages for Seoul in Negotiations

The pact is one of the most crucial components especially for the US and Japan’s security defense. Both countries are pressurizing Seoul to renew the pact referring to the existing nuclear threats posed by North Korea.

As the matter puts South Korea in advantages, Seoul has started negotiation with the US on various defense-related issues including the payment of hiring about 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in the country.

Despite the US demand around $ 5 billion for the using of the US Soldiers, South Korea would pay about $ 870 million for this year. Since 1991, South Korea has been using the US military for its defense.

Vital for Defense and Security for the US and Japan

Considering the existing Beijing and Moscow’s military expansion in East Asia, it is important strategy for the US and Japan to make the pact active with South Korea.

The pact will ensure that both Washington and Tokyo take advantage of security surveillance against rivalries including China, Russia, and North Korea in the region.

The reconciliation talks between Tokyo and Seoul is expected to come out a great shape when the two leaders, Shinzo Abe and Moon Jae-in meet who are going for a summit in December in China.

As reported in a TV, the South Korean President, Moon states, “South Korea will gladly join hands with Japan for East Asian prosperity if it chooses dialogue and cooperation to settle the trade fight”.

Sources:

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-japan-pact/south-korea-tells-japan-it-will-reverse-decision-to-end-intel-sharing-pact-nhk-idUSKBN1XW0Q9
  2. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/11/22/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-south-korea-gsomia-talks/#.XdedONbhXIU
  3. https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-South-Korea-rift/South-Korea-reverses-decision-to-end-GSOMIA-intel-pact-with-Japan

I’m Roshan, a journalist, blogger and music lover. I like covering global news related to finance, business, and technology. Focusing on the collection of true and reliable information, I rely on working by conducting interviews with business leaders and talking to the inside sources of companies.

You can reach out to me at: [email protected]

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