Two weeks after the official suspension of the “Military Intelligence Protection Agreement” (GSOMIA), the South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said on November 11 that there has been no review of the withdrawal of the cancellation of GSOMIA. If the situation is put on hold, Japan and South Korea will interrupt the GSOMIA agreement, which may further worsen the relationship between South Korea and Japan and even damage US-South Korea relations.
The South Korean government announced in August that it decided to terminate GSOMIA because the two sides could not maintain their trust. GSOMIA is a military intelligence sharing system constructed for the security of North Korea and East Asia. GSOMIA can make up for the alliance between the United States and Japan and the United States and South Korea, but Japan and South Korea do not have the alliance’s shortcomings, which is an important part of the US-Japan-South Korea security cooperation.
Implementing a counter-measure against Japan for Japan
South Korea’s termination of GSOMIA is seen as a counter-measure against Japan’s restrictions on South Korea’s restrictions. If everything does not change, the Korean and Japanese GSOMIA will be officially suspended on the 23rd.
The relationship between Japan and South Korea has gradually deteriorated since the judgment of the Supreme Court of South Korea in October 2018 on the forced recruitment of labor cases in World War II. The incident further involved US-South Korea relations. The United States clearly stated its opposition to the suspension of GSOMIA in South Korea, but at the same time it did not intend to actively intervene in the differences between the two countries. US Defense Secretary Mark Esper will visit South Korea this week and is expected to persuade the South Korean government, but it is not known whether it will be effective.
The two sides are hard to find a breakthrough at this moment
In October, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Loon-bak visited Japan. President Wen Zaiyu met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The National Assembly President Wen Xixiang, who had published the “Apocalypse of Emperor’s Apology”, also visited Japan and apologized for the remarks. They are all trying to break the ice for Japan-ROK relations. However, it is still difficult for the two sides to find a breakthrough when the Japanese government has no intention of paying attention to the judgment of the Supreme Court of South Korea and insisting on refusing compensation.
The outside world sees South Korea’s desire to use GSOMIA as a bargaining chip to force Japan to lift restrictions. However, at present, Japan remains tough on the issue of forced labor compensation and restrictions on transportation. Some people believe that South Korea actually made a mistake and could not find a step.