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(2nd LD) S. Korea officially notifies Japan of intent to end military pact

All Headlines 17:54 August 23, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more info in 2nd para)
By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry called in Japan's top envoy in Seoul on Friday to officially notify Tokyo of its intent to end a bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact.

First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young gave Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine a note verbale, a diplomatic document, to formally express Seoul's intent to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

But the two sides shared the view that it is important to continue diplomatic dialogue between them to help resolve their issues, the foreign ministry here said in a press release.

On Thursday, Seoul announced its decision to withdraw from GSOMIA, citing a "grave change" in security cooperation conditions between the two countries, amid a rancorous row over wartime history and Tokyo's recent export curbs.

In a rare public rebuke, Washington expressed "strong concern" and "disappointment" over Seoul's decision.

Seoul and Tokyo signed GSOMIA in 2016 amid apparent encouragement by Washington, which has been striving to solidify its regional alliance cooperation network in the face of an assertive China and nuclear threats from North Korea.

GSOMIA was seen as a rare case of security cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo, which have long been mired in seemingly endless territorial and historical feuds stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the peninsula.

Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine walks into the foreign ministry in Seoul on Aug. 23, 2019. (Yonhap)


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