Abe: Seoul's Ending of Intelligence Deal Damages Mutual Trust

Friday, 23 August 2019 17:13 WIB



Japan's prime minister said Friday that South Korea's decision to end a military intelligence sharing deal with Tokyo damages mutual trust.

Shinzo Abe, speaking a day after Seoul announced its decision, said Tokyo “will continue to closely coordinate with the U.S. to ensure regional peace and prosperity, as well as Japan's security.”

In an escalation of its bitter dispute with Japan, South Korea decided Thursday to scrap its military intelligence sharing agreement with Tokyo, opening a new divide in trilateral security cooperation among the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.

South Korea's presidential Blue House said Thursday it is not in its national interest to continue the deal. Seoul will inform Tokyo of its decision before the Saturday deadline to renew the agreement, the South Korean statement said.

The decision will worsen tensions between South Korea and Japan, which are involved in a dispute rooted in Japan’s use of forced labor during its colonial occupation of Korea. The move also threatens to further upend security cooperation on U.S. priorities such as North Korea and China.

In announcing its decision, South Korea cited Japan's recent decision to remove Seoul from its list of trusted trade partners.

South Korea's foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, said the decision to withdraw from the agreement is a “separate issue from the South Korea-U.S. alliance,” according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The decision, she says, was made because of a “trust issue” between Seoul and Tokyo, Yonhap reported.

But the move cannot be separated from Seoul’s alliance with Washington, insists Maxwell, now with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Source : VOA


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