SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea consulted with the United States often and adequately before deciding to end a military intelligence pact with Japan amid a trade conflict, Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.
It was responding to Washington's expression of "strong concern" and "disappointment" over Seoul's decision Thursday to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
"It's true that the U.S. hoped for the extension of the agreement," South Korea's Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong said in a press briefing.
Thus, he added, it was "natural" for Washington to be disappointed with Seoul's move.
Asked if the U.S. really showed "understanding" on it, Kim avoided a direct answer.
He just reiterated that the allies had "sufficient communication and consultation" with each other on the matter, especially through their presidential national security councils (NSCs).
In July and August, the NSCs of the two sides discussed the issue nine times by telephone, he added.
Announcing the plan to terminate the GSOMIA a day earlier in response to Japan's export restrictions, a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters that the U.S. "understands" South Korea's position on the basis of bilateral consultations.
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