South Korea signs first military accord with Japan since colonial occupation of Korean peninsul 2906

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Defense News - South Korea

 
 
Friday, June 29, 2012, 04:51 AM
 
South Korea signs first military accord with Japan since colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula.
South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday it will press ahead with a controversial decision to sign its first military accord with Japan since its colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula. Local reports said a day ago South Korea's Cabinet endorsed the pact, called the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which allows the two sides to exchange military intelligence on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and its nuclear and missile programs.
     
South Korea's foreign ministry said Thursday it will press ahead with a controversial decision to sign its first military accord with Japan since its colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula. Local reports said a day ago South Korea's Cabinet endorsed the pact, called the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which allows the two sides to exchange military intelligence on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and its nuclear and missile programs.
Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea.

     

The clandestine Cabinet approval, which effectively concluded domestic procedures to seal the deal, immediately copped criticism from opposition lawmakers and civic activists who warn the accord will provoke anti-Japan sentiment and generate regional tension.

Such concerns pressured the South Korean government last month into suspending the signing of a separate military agreement with Japan, called the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).

The deal, if signed, would have allowed exchanges of supplies including fuel and weapons between the South Korean military and Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

"We are well aware that domestic procedures for the accord didn 't go entirely smoothly and we humbly accept such criticism," foreign ministry spokesman Cho Byung-je said during a press briefing.

Still, the government believes the accord will be signed as early as Friday after Japan's Cabinet approval, Cho added.

Shin Kak-soo, Seoul's top envoy to Tokyo, and Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Gemba are expected to sign the watershed pact in Tokyo.

The United States, which has troops stationed in both South Korea and Japan, has placed an increasing emphasis on trilateral security cooperation in part by initiating joint drills and talks involving top defense officials.

"The purpose of the accord is to facilitate the move by the U.S. to build a missile defense system (in the region)," civic activists said in a statement read out during a rally in central Seoul earlier in the day.

 

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