With the GSOMIA pact, an intelligence sharing treaty between Seoul and Tokyo, due to expire in a fortnight, the South Korean presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is reportedly considering a third option for GSOMIA, other than ending or extending it, under the condition of Japan’s change of tack. Seoul’s pursuit of an alternative solution reflects the omni-directional pressure from Washington it is currently under to extend the duration of the deal and the lack of resources for Seoul to make the Japanese government retract its export restrictions in a desirable timeframe.
“A discussion is underway to meet halfway with Washington over the matter of GSOMIA,” said a government official in Seoul on Thursday. “Broadly, the plausible solution would be either “go (expiration)” or “stop (extension),” but the final decision could turn out otherwise.” The official added Seoul’s stance remains unchanged that it won’t back out unless Japan shows some change. This reflects Seoul’s willingness to discuss an alternative solution or strike a compromise deal under the condition that Tokyo takes some proactive steps for easing export restrictions.
“Our stance has not changed that Seoul could revisit the matter of GSOMIA if Tokyo backs out on its unjust economic sanctions against us after July,” South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon said during a special budget committee meeting at National Assembly on Thursday.
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