U.S. raises concerns about progress on N. Korea's denuclearization, GSOMIA termination
Updated: 2019-11-16 14:59:34 KST
A senior official from the U.S. State Department told reporters in a backroom briefing Friday that he conveyed a message to Chinese officials that Beijing could do more to pressure North Korea into restarting denuclearization talks.
China was also urged to prevent slippage in the enforcement of international sanctions on the regime, particularly when it comes to ship-to-ship transfers of coal and oil in their territorial waters.
On South Korea's decision to terminate its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, the General Security of Military Information Agreement or GSOMIA, the U.S. official said Washington is urging South Korean officials to recommit to the pact.
GSOMIA is due to lapse on November 23rd unless Seoul announces a last-minute U-turn on its decision made in August.
The U.S. official cited the potential adverse impact GSOMIA's termination could have on three-way cooperation against North Korea's nuclear ambitions and China's military assertiveness in the region.
The State Department official said that, during a recent meeting with South Korean officials, it was made clear that the U.S. will be more actively involved in finding solutions to the two countries' disputes over trade and history.
This comes as President Moon Jae-in told U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper during their meeting at the Blue House Friday that South Korea will not renew GSOMIA.
Presidential Office Spokesperson Ko Min-jung explained that security reasons make it difficult to exchange military information with Japan while Tokyo is imposing export curbs on the country.
The State Department official also commented on defense cost sharing between South Korea and the U.S. as the Trump administration is reportedly pushing Seoul to pay up to five times more for the U.S. troop presence on the peninsula next year.
The official said previously set clauses in the cost-sharing agreement should be updated and the financial burden should be shared fairly between the allies.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.