The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said in a statement that operational-level talks were held in Seoul on Thursday to prepare for the dialogue at the Director General`s level. The suspension of GSOMIA directly harms U.S. national security as the government of the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea ramps up provocations, including 12 tests of more than 20 ballistic missiles this year, including new types of nuclear ballistic missiles. On Friday, South Korea said it would suspend the expiration “under certain conditions,” with national security officer Kim You-geun confirming that GSOMIA should not run until midnight. (4) urges the Republic of Korea to consider how best to take measures that could undermine regional security cooperation; The two governments made their first attempt in 2012 to sign such an agreement under the government of Lee Myung-bak, then president. However, in the face of strong criticism and opposition from both opposition parties and public opinion when the government brought GSOMIA before the National Assembly, President Lee was forced to renounce it. Park Geun-hye, who succeeded him, hesitated to try again and instead tried to strengthen ties with China, including by participating in a military parade in Beijing in 2015 to celebrate the end of World War II. Senior South Korean security officials and diplomats, including Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, are preparing to visit Washington next week and after the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), a military intelligence exchange pact with Japan, at midnight on November 22. The trade agreement between Seoul and Tokyo came after South Korea`s decision last Friday to suspend the end of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) as long as trade negotiations with Japan continued as normal. Park, however, has moved toward trilateral cooperation between the United States and Japan and the ICC, after North Korea put nuclear tests back on track and China clearly circumvented sanctions.
Her sense of urgency to improve relations with Japan also encouraged her government to reach an agreement with Japan in December 2015 on comfort women, which, despite the enthusiastic reception of the United States, invited strong domestic political opposition in the ROK. GSOMIA, signed less than a year later, is a new step that shows the strong desire of park management to further improve relations with Japan. From the perspective of South Korea`s National Defence, the exchange of sensitive information with the Japanese Self-Defense Force (SDF) is useful. While North Korea threatens South Korea with the development of its nuclear arsenal and submarine-launched ballistic missile, Japan`s advanced intelligence and anti-submarine missile capabilities would allow South Korea to immediately identify North Korea`s provocations and allow the direct exchange of military information with Japan instead of passing through the United States would be more effective. In addition, it will also facilitate the more effective exchange of information between the U.S. secret services and Korea and Japan. More importantly, GSOMIA is helping to strengthen the structure of the U.S. alliance in Northeast Asia by establishing an institutional defence cooperation mechanism that will provide the United States with a necessary framework to stabilize the security environment in Northeast Asia. Washington urged Seoul to renew the pact, widely seen as a symbol of military cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the United States against North Korea. In August, South Korea decided to end GSOMIA after Japan imposed export restrictions on South Korea for security reasons.