S. Korea, U.S. hold Military Committee Meeting in Seoul
Updated: 2019-11-14 13:32:20 KST
The chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for South Korea and the United States Generals Park Han-ki and Mark Milley met in Seoul on Thursday for their annual Military Committee Meeting.
It's expected the two sides jointly assessed regional security surrounding the Korean peninsula, as well as their joint defense posture.
Park was also widely expected to ask his U.S. counterpart for support for Seoul's defense policy measures.
But topping the agenda was likely Seoul's decision to terminate its military intel-sharing pact with Japan known as GSOMIA, which expires on November 23rd.
Washington wants South Korea to change its mind about ending the pact.
Seoul made the decision in August in response to Tokyo's export curbs and a row over Japan's use of Koreans as wartime forced labor.
Ahead of Thursday's meeting, Milley hinted to reporters in Japan that the key message from Washington for the Seoul meeting would be to extend GSOMIA.
He said, if the pact lapses, it would affect bilateral ties between South Korea and Japan, South Korea and the U.S., and the U.S. and Japan, which would only benefit North Korea and China.
The South Korean government has consistently stressed that it's sticking to its guns on GSOMIA unless Japan withdraws its export restrictions against South Korea.
Also, with diplomatic sources saying South Korea's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha will visit Washington next week to explain Seoul's perspective on GSOMIA… it remains to be seen what Thursday's Military Committee Meeting will achieve.
However, the results of the meeting will be shared later Thursday.
It will be announced again at the Security Consultative Meeting set for Friday at South Korea's Defense Ministry.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.