President Moon Jae-in said his government will try until the last moment to avoid the termination of a military intel-sharing deal with Japan, saying that Tokyo will have to reach out to Seoul to save the pact.
Moon made the remarks in a live town hall meeting in Seoul on Tuesday as the General Security of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA) is scheduled to come to an end on Friday.
South Korea decided to pull the plug on GSOMIA following Tokyo's imposition of export curbs on Seoul this past July.
Moon said that even in the absence of GSOMIA, Seoul will continue security cooperation with Tokyo, explaining that trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan is also important.
The president, however, made clear his position that Japan is responsible for triggering the termination of GSOMIA. He said it is contradictory for Japan to want to share military intel with South Korea while it claims there is a lack of trust between the two in terms of security.
He also argued that Japan is spending only one percent of its gross domestic product on defense thanks to South Korea's own defense efforts and alliance with the U.S.