At the last minute before its expiration, Seoul decided to agree to the extension of GSOMIA with Tokyo. However, it is all but temporary. (Image via www.orfonline.com)
S. Korea, Japan 'temporarily' extend GSOMIAIn a last-minute moment before its expiration on Saturday midnight, South Korea (S. Korea) decided to delay its scheme to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with Japan.
The decision was made prior to the two-day Foreign Minister of Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in Nagoya when S. Korea’s Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, made her late appearance with her Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi. Assumably, both Foreign Ministers had been talking about the GSOMIA's extension.
The political experts hailed the move by Seoul. Should the GSOMIA have not been salvaged, it would deteriorate the bilateral relations between Japan and S. Korea even further which was what Seoul had in mind in August.
The sudden decision by S. Korea that salvaged the agreement from termination could be due to the pressure from the United States (U.S), as the ally of both countries. For Washington, GSOMIA is a symbol of trilateral cooperation between Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul.
Regarding the export curb imposed by Japan on S. Korea, Motegi stated that trade and military negotiations are two different things. The Japanese Foreign Minister stated further that the action reflected that Seoul prioritizes its cooperation with Washington and Tokyo more than wartime dispute that remained unsolved to this second, for S. Korean.
However, Japan’s Ministry of Trade announced that it will continue trade talks with S. Korea regarding the export control, showing the sign of reconciliation.