South Korea's foreign affairs minister Kang Kyung-wha said there's been no decision yet as to whether Seoul will terminate its military information sharing pact with Tokyo.
Minister Kang said this when leaving for Beijing on Tuesday morning for the 9th Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo foreign affairs ministers' talks.
"We are still reviewing it. Nothing has been decided yet."
An official at the Blue House also reconfirmed this, telling reporters that any decision will consider a quantitative and qualitative assessment of military information and Japan's attitude about future relations.
Japan, in July and early August, imposed trade restrictions on South Korea, citing what it said were "security reasons."
And as a result, Seoul has been reviewing whether to continue its General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan.
By this Saturday, August 24, the South Korean government will have to decide whether or not to terminate the pact.
GSOMIA is automatically renewed every year unless either party notifies the other that it's quitting, in which case, it would expire in November.
There have been local reports that say the decision will be made at the weekly National Security Council meeting on Thursday.
Now this matter, along with the ongoing dispute over Japan's trade restrictions and the South Korean Supreme Court's ruling on Japanese firms compensating Korean laborers, is expected to top the agenda at the bilateral meeting between Ministers Kang and Taro Kono.
The meeting is to take place Wednesday afternoon separately from the trilateral meeting with their Chinese counterpart earlier in the day.
At the airport, Kang hinted that at her bilateral meeting with Kono, she will once again urge Tokyo to withdraw its unfair trade restrictions on Seoul.
The two diplomats' meeting comes just three weeks after they met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Thailand.
There they engaged in a war of words, both trying to win support from other countries, but it remains to be seen whether the two will clash again in Beijing now that their leaders seem to have softened their tones.
Meanwhile, the Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo ministerial event is slated to take place for three days starting Tuesday, for the first time in three years, to discuss how the three countries can cooperate and develop their ties.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.