(ATTN: UPDATES with more remarks, details from 3rd para)
SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea announced its decision Thursday to ditch a bilateral agreement with Japan on exchanging classified military information, citing a "grave change" in security cooperation conditions attributable to Japan's export restrictions.
Seoul plans to inform Tokyo of the measure before the Aug. 24 deadline via a diplomatic channel, according to Kim You-geun, deputy director of South Korea's presidential national security office.
The government concluded that it does not meet the national interest to maintain the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which was signed for the purpose of sharing "sensitive military information," he said in a statement.
He pointed out that Japan had dropped South Korea from its whitelist of trusted trade partners "without providing clear ground" for the move, which has led to a "grave change in security cooperation circumstances between the two nations."
Japan only talked about a "problem" in terms of national security, he pointed out.
The announcement followed a weekly meeting of the National Security Council's standing committee.
Moon endorsed the decision after having an hourlong discussion with its members, another Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters later on background.
Seoul's move is expected to deal a blow to trilateral security partnerships also involving the United States in Northeast Asia.
The Seoul-Washington alliance will, however, remain intact, and the termination of the pact does not mean the collapse of three-way security cooperation, the official emphasized.
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