Seoul, Aug. 19 (Jiji Press) — The South Korean government has yet to decide whether to allow the extension of a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a Blue House source said Monday.
The General Security of Military Information Agreement will be extended for another year unless either Japan or South Korea notifies the other of its intention to scrap the pact by Saturday.
Seoul is likely to withhold making a decision until the very last minute to see and analyze Tokyo’s moves, observers said.
In South Korea, there are calls for terminating the agreement as retaliation for Japan’s measures to effectively tighten controls of exports to the neighboring country.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, took a softer stance in his speech on the anniversary Thursday of the end of World War II, expressing his willingness to open dialogue with Japan.
Other sources said the Moon administration will decide whether to let the pact go on after a planned meeting between its foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in a Beijing suburb Wednesday.
At the first meeting between the foreign ministers since Japan removed South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners, Kono is expected to underscore the significance of maintaining the military information pact while reiterating Tokyo’s demand that Seoul rectify the state of international law violation over the issue of compensation for Japanese companies’ requisitioning of Korean workers during the war.