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USFK Chief: Ending GSOMIA May Send Wrong Message that Allies 'Not Strong Enough'

Write: 2019-11-13 08:21:23Update: 2019-11-13 17:24:05

Photo : KBS

The head of the U.S. Forces Korea(USFK) said on Tuesday that the termination of a military information sharing pact between South Korea and Japan could send the wrong message that the U.S. and its two Asian allies are not strong enough to ensure security in the region.

USFK Commander Robert Abrams made the remarks during a press interview at his office at Camp Humphreys, the U.S.' primary base in South Korea located in the city of Pyeongtaek.

Abrams said that the fundamental principle of the General Security of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA) was a clear message to the region that South Korea and Japan can put aside historical differences and put at the forefront stability and security of the region.

In the interview, held to mark his first year in office, Abrams said that the allies are much stronger for providing a stable and secure Northeast Asia when they are together, and without that, there is a risk of sending the wrong message that perhaps we are not as strong. 

The remarks come as GSOMIA is set to expire on November 22, following South Korea's decision in August to terminate it.

Regarding the ongoing negotiations to renew the defense cost-sharing deal between Seoul and Washington, Abrams said South Korea can and should pay more as U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris recently said.

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