A Cheong Wa Dae official said nothing has been decided (about the renewal of the General Security of Military Information Agreement) and the government is reviewing all options after Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s top presidential security advisor, had said Seoul could review whether to extend the GSOMIA following Japan’s economic retaliatory measures toward South Korea.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, the official reiterated that Cheong Wa Dae is reviewing all options when asked if other options aside from the automatic renewal of the information-sharing pact are being considered. The GSOMIA, which took effect in November 2016, is renewed every year and can be scrapped if either party notifies the other of its intention to terminate the agreement 90 days before the date of expiration (August 24).
“We will examine thoroughly the information we exchange with Japan from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives and study how helpful the pact is (to South Korea),” said the official adding that the government will make a decision that serves its best interest based on the analysis. The official’s remark is significant in that it hints at considering other options, other than automatically extending the agreement, regardless of Japan’s export curb measures against Korea. “The GSOMIA is not linked to Japan’s economic retaliatory measures,” another Cheong Wa Dae official said.
The Trump administration reacted sharply to Cheong Wa Dae’s mention of reviewing the GSOMIA, one of the key pillars of U.S.-South Korean-Japanese trilateral security cooperation. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Thursday (local time) during an interview with the Voice of America that it “fully supports” the GSOMIA and it is an “important tool” for the complete denuclearization of North Korea. The spokesperson went on to say that South Korea and Japan cooperate bilaterally and trilaterally with the U.S. for security and prosperity of Northeast Asia and that information-sharing in response to common threats is an important part of that cooperation.
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