Photo Credit: SCMP

Renewing GSOMIA Isn’t Feasible, Moon Jae-in Tells US

In a meeting that lasted for 50 minutes, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is reported to have told the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper that South Korea can’t renew the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan.

Calling it an issue of mutual trust after Japan curbed some items for exports to South Korean companies, President Moon Jae-in told the American Defence Secretary as well as US military officials that it was not feasible to reconsider or renew the GSOMIA with Japan considering the present scenario.

It is said that Japan would be asked to address the issue of exports curb, given the importance of GSOMIA between Japan and South Korea, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper is reported to have told the South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

While addressing reporters, US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper is reported to have said that the only parties who are going to gain from a Japan-South Korea friction leading to the discontinuance of GSOMIA, are Beijing and Pyongyang. That single reason should be important enough to revive the alliance and work together.

Mark Esper further said, “The GSOMIA is an important tool by which South Korea, the U.S. and Japan share effective information, particularly in times of war. An expiration of the GSOMIA will have an impact on our effectiveness, so we urge all sides to sit down and work through their differences”.

It is also reported that US would change its strategy of military operations in South Korea, provided that US is enabled to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea. The US Defence Secretary is reported to have said that all alterations of military strategy in South Korea will be made in a way that it doesn’t jeopardize military combat preparedness vis-a-vis North Korea.

The GSOMIA between South Korea and Japan was discontinued after the Supreme Court in South Korea told Japan to pay wartime compensation individually to the affected South Korean labourers. Japan had since said that all wartime compensation was paid during a 1965 agreement and that it would restrict exports of certain items used by major South Korean companies. South Korea was a colony of Japan from 1910 till 1945.