See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

South Korea pulls out of intel-sharing pact amid spat with Japan

Seoul cites ‘grave change’ in security cooperation conditions attributable to Japan’s export restrictions for abolishing GSOMIA.


Written by

Updated: August 23, 2019

South Korea decided to withdraw from the bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan on Thursday, amid escalating friction over trade and historical issues.

In a televised announcement, Cheong Wa Dae said it has made the decision to abolish General Security of Military Information Agreement and will notify Japan via diplomatic channels by midnight on Saturday, the deadline for a decision on whether to renew the agreement.

“The government deemed that Japan caused grave change in the bilateral security cooperation environment by excluding the country from Export Trade Control Order (so-called ‘whitelist’) on Aug. 2 without citing clear evidence, saying that security-related issues have occurred from damaged trust between Korea and Japan,” Kim You-geun, deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae’s national security office said.

“Under such circumstances, the government decided that it does not coincide with our national interest to maintain the agreement that was signed to exchange sensitive military information.”

Before the announcement, Cheong Wa Dae held a National Security Council meeting to discuss the matter.

The two neighboring countries first signed the military intel-sharing pact in November 2016, with encouragement from the United States, which seeks a strong bond with its Asian allies in the backdrop.

The agreement was set to automatically renew each year, and only be scrapped when one side chooses to end it 90 days before the expiration date.

But as bilateral ties have deteriorated since July when Tokyo placed controls on South Korea’s exports of three vital industrial materials, South Korea has been mulling options to fire back.

Japan also announced that it would remove South Korea from its list of countries for preferential trade treatment in early August. The removal will go into into effect on Aug. 28.

Following Cheong Wa Dae’s announcement, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that abolishing GSOMIA was a separate matter to the alliance with the United States.

Arriving at Incheon International Airport after a trilateral summit with Japanese and Chinese foreign ministers, Kang also said that Korea and the US would continue to firm up cooperation and that Thursday’s decision on GSOMIA was made due to the issue of trust with Japan.

Just hours before Seoul’s announcement, top officials in Japan stressed the importance of the intel-sharing pact, highlighting that GSOMIA contributes to regional peace and stability.

Reiterating that GSOMIA has been automatically renewed every year, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had said, despite the strained relations between Seoul and Tokyo, it is important to join forces in necessary areas.

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya had also expressed hope for the renewal of the agreement, saying the agreement would strengthen not only bilateral security cooperation but also firm up trilateral alliance with the United States.

Under GSOMIA, Seoul and Tokyo had exchanged confidential military information of similar levels on North Korea, at each other’s request. They were not mandated to provide the requested information if they choose not to.

Since the deal was forged, the two allies had exchanged information through GSOMIA 29 times as of this month.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

620 km long human chain comprising 70 lakh people formed in Kerala in protest against CAA

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was also standing in the chain along with his family members at Palyam in Thiruvananthapuram. A 620 km long human chain comprising around 70 lakh people was formed in Kerala by the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Sunday to mark protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. The human chain stretched from Kasaragod in north to Kaliyikkavila in the south in Tamil Nadu. As per the reports, a large number of people gathered for the human chain formation and after a trial at 3:30 pm, the chain formation began at 4 pm. At first, the Preamble of the Constitution was read out and then every participant took a pledge on the account of the CAA by the BJP-led Central government. At the southernmo


By The Statesman
January 27, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Press Myanmar to comply with the ICJ order

The ICJ order Global rights bodies urge international community  to press Myanmar to comply with the issued order to protect Rohingyas in Rakhine from the acts of possible genocide. Global human rights bodies have called for the international community to press Myanmar to comply with the order issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to protect Rohingyas in Rakhine from the acts of possible genocide. They also called on corporations to end any business relationships with companies owned or controlled by the Myanmar army, saying that there can no longer be “business as usual” with the perpetrators of genocide if the Myanmar government fails to comply with the ICJ order. “The ICJ order to Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the gen


By Daily Star
January 24, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Rohingya Genocide Case: ICJ ruling today

In response to The Gambia’s seeking provisional measures to stop genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to deliver an order today. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to deliver an order today in response to The Gambia’s seeking provisional measures to stop genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine. The top UN court, situated in The Hague, Netherlands and comprised of 15 judges, is scheduled to start delivering the order at 3:00pm (Bangladesh time). The Gambia filed the case with the ICJ, also known as the World Court, in November last year. The West African nation, which is predominantly Muslim, took the legal step on behalf of the Organisation for Islamic Coop


By Daily Star
January 23, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

No evidence of intent or plan to destroy Muslims or any other community in northern Rakhine: ICOE report

A report by the Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE)  has not found any evidence suggesting that these killings or acts of displacement were committed pursuant to an intent or plan to destroy the Muslim or any other community in northern Rakhine State. The ICOE’s Chairperson Rosario G. Manalo and party submitted the final report to President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw on 20 January. The government rejected the demands by the UN and western countries for allowing international independent investigation teams in the northern Rakhine. On 30 July, 2018, Myanmar President formed the ICOE with four members—two from home and the rest from abroad— to investigate allegations of human rights violations and related issues following the terrorist attacks in Rakhine State.


By Eleven Media Group
January 22, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

IMF cuts India’s growth rate to 4.8% citing slowdown in local demand, stress in NBFC sector

In a major setback for India on the economic front, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday slashed its growth rate to 4.8 per cent for the current fiscal year which is expected to rise to 5.8 per cent in 2020. The IMF attributed the slash in growth rate to the slowdown in demand in the domestic market and stress in the nonbank financial sector. “India’s growth is estimated at 4.8 percent in 2019, projected to improve to 5.8 percent in 2020 and 6.5 percent in 2021,” said IMF in a statement. The 5.8 per cent estimate in 2020 is down by 0.9 per cent from the previous estimate. The steep cut in India’s growth rate has affected the IMF’s projection on the world economy, which is now expected to expand 2.9 per cent in 2019 as compare


By The Statesman
January 21, 2020

Diplomacy, Economics

Wuhan virus: 3rd death reported in China as cases soar past 200; new cases confirmed in Beijing, Shenzhen

There has been a dramatic increase of 136 cases of the mysterious Sars-like virus, including one death, in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Monday (Jan 20) as new cases were confirmed for the first time outside the city in Beijing and Shenzhen. The Chinese city of Wuhan on Monday (Jan 20) reported a dramatic increase of 136 cases of the mysterious Sars-like virus, including one death, as new cases were confirmed for the first time outside the city in Beijing and Shenzhen. The sharp spike in detected cases comes as travelling intensifies ahead of this weekend’s Chinese New Year holidays, sparking fears that the mass human movement co


By The Straits Times
January 20, 2020