FPI / August 7, 2019
A North Korean propaganda outlet is calling on South Korea to abandon an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan that was signed under the conservative former South Korean President, Park Geun-Hye.
“It is rather abnormal that the agreement of betraying the country signed by Park Geun-Hye … still exists without being abrogated,” the Uriminzokkiri propaganda outlet said.
While the North’s propaganda mouthpiece was inciting South Korea-Japan tensions, the regime of Kim Jong-Un was continuing its missile tests. Pyongyang said its launching of two ballistic missiles on Aug. 6 was carried out in protest of U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.
Signed in November 2016 under the Park administration, the deal enables Seoul and Tokyo to share confidential military information to better cope with nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. It is the only agreement signed between South Korea and Japan in the military sector.
Related: Korean War veterans broadcast international appeal: ‘South Korea is in danger’, July 31, 2019
The South, which has moved toward warming relations with the North since the election of leftist President Moon Jae-In, is currently reviewing whether to keep the deal amid an escalating trade and diplomatic dispute with Japan over wartime forced labor.
Conservative analysts and retired military officers in South Korea have charged that the Moon government is making common cause with the North against Japan at grave risk to national security which is a function of Seoul’s strategic alliance with Washington and Tokyo. The U.S. military has maintained a major presence in South Korea since the Korean War was suspended, but not ended, with a truce in 1953.
South Korea has hinted at the possibility of scrapping the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) after Japan imposed export restrictions against Seoul and removed the South from its list of trusted trading partners.
As of the end of 2018, Seoul and Tokyo shared 22 accounts of classified information regarding North Korea, according to Rep. Song Young-Gil of the ruling Democratic Party.
North Korea, meanwhile, has continued to ramp up its weapons demonstrations by firing two presumed short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Aug. 6.