South Korea reverses decision to suspend intelligence deal with Japan
South Korea announced on Friday that it would not suspend its intelligence-sharing deal with Japan in a last-minute reversal. This may signify a breakthrough after months of tensions. The announcement may have been influenced by Washington, which has pressured the two Asian allies to maintain the pact. The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) is crucial to security cooperation in Asia. Maintaining the pact pay also have trade implications, as trade tensions escalated when Japan put restrictions on the export of chip components used to make semiconductors.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that South Korea’s decision was strategic and also stressed the importance of bilateral relations. The two US allies are both concerned with China’s influence over the region and the potential threat from North Korea, two factors that may have heavily impacted South Korea’s sudden policy switch.