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US Concerned as Seoul Axes Intel-Sharing Pact with Tokyo

Write: 2019-08-23 14:15:46Update: 2019-08-23 14:43:07

US Concerned as Seoul Axes Intel-Sharing Pact with Tokyo

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was unusually direct in expressing his disappointment over South Korea's decision to terminate a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan. He urged the two partner countries to engage in dialogue and mend matters. 
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: Washington on Thursday expressed concerns after Seoul axed a military intelligence sharing agreement with Tokyo.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the move is disappointing.

[Sound bite: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo]
"I actually spoke with my South Korean counterpart this morning. We’re disappointed to see the decision that the South Koreans made about that information-sharing agreement. We’re urging each of the two countries to continue to engage, to continue to have dialogue." 

Pompeo held telephone talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, during which he likely delivered Washington's stance on the issue.  

At a press conference with his Canadian counterpart in Ottawa, Pompeo pointed to the significance of trilateral security cooperation with the respective allies whose relations have recently soured. 

[Sound bite: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo]
"There is no doubt that the shared interests of Japan and South Korea are important, and they’re important to the United States of America, and we hope each of those two countries can begin to put that relationship back in exactly the right place."

He emphasized that effective Seoul-Tokyo collaboration is valuable not only in the context of North Korea, but also to the work the U.S. is involved with around the world.

Announcing Seoul's decision, the presidential office's deputy national security adviser Kim You-geun cited Japan’s elimination of South Korea from a list of preferred trading partners for discontinuing the pact. 

[Sound bite: Kim You-geun - Deputy Director, Presidential Nat'l Security Office (Korean)]
"Our government has come to the conclusion that the Japanese government has caused serious changes to the bilateral security cooperation environment by removing our country from its whitelist on August 2, citing security problems due to damaged trust between the two countries without providing clear evidence for such claims." 

The General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, was enacted by Seoul and Tokyo in 2016 amid growing North Korean nuclear threats.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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