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Cheong Wa Dae to check results of Beijing talks with Japan over military info-sharing accord

Politics 11:46 August 20, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- The office of President Moon Jae-in indicated Tuesday that it will wait to see the outcome of high-level talks with Japan to be held in Beijing this week before making a final decision on whether to keep a bilateral agreement on sharing military information.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha headed to the Chinese capital earlier in the day for a trilateral meeting with her Chinese and Japanese counterparts -- Wang Yi and Taro Kono. Kang and Kono will reportedly hold bilateral talks on Wednesday as well.

The two sides are expected to discuss the issue of their ongoing trade fight sparked by Tokyo's export curbs against Seoul in apparent reprisal for disputes over their shared history.

Seoul is considering whether to renew the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) as its own countermeasure to Tokyo's stated reason for the export control: potential damage to national security.

This week is the deadline for the decision, as the agreement is slated to expire in November. In order to scrap it, either party is required to notify the other of its intention to do so 90 days ahead of its expiration.

"There's no decision on the GSOMIA, which is a matter itself to be decided in a comprehensive review," a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on background.

A decision will be made in consideration of various elements, including Japan's attitude, the quantitative and qualitative assessment of military information, the official added.

In the foreign ministerial talks to take place in Beijing, South Korea will "actively explain" the government's position, he said, asked if the results of the upcoming discussions will affect Seoul's decision on the fate of the GSOMIA.

Meanwhile, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official plans to meet with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who is scheduled to visit Seoul this week.

Kim Hyun-chong, the deputy national security adviser, will have consultations with Biegun on Thursday, an informed source said.


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