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S. Korea will work to upgrade U.S. alliance even after GSOMIA Updated: 2019-08-23 16:24:54 KST

The Blue House believes its decision to pull out from its military intel sharing agreement with Japan will not hurt the South Korea-U.S. alliance, but rather upgrade it.

"The government has frequently interacted with the U.S. while reviewing the South Korea-Japan dispute and the GSOMIA issue, and we coordinated especially closely between our national security councils. We will work to make sure this decision does not weaken the alliance with the U.S., but rather upgrades it to another level of more robust relations."

South Korea's decision to walk away from GSOMIA has seen a backlash from not only Japan, but also the United States, which expressed disappointment over the decision, which it says undermines trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo.
Deputy national security advisor Kim Hyun-chong told reporters Friday that it's natural for Washington to be disappointed since it wanted Korea to extend the deal.
But Korea will continue to make its case, and according to Kim, this will result in a more robust alliance.
And if necessary, President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump could talk on the phone.

Addressing security concerns
Kim says South Korea will actively make use of another deal, similar to GSOMIA in some respects, to fill the gap.
That's the Trilateral Information Sharing Agreement, or TISA, a trilateral pact, between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan established in 2014, enabling the exchange of classified information regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
A key difference is that information would have to flow through the U.S., meaning it will not be real-time.
This, he says, along with an increased military defense budget, will help maintain the country's national security and military readiness.
And as South Korea enhances its independent ability to gather intelligence, its allies should depend on it more.

"And Kim criticized Japan, again, for not responding to South Korea's diplomatic gestures. Because there was no change in Japan's attitude, he said, the government had no choice but to leave the agreement. Park Hee-jun, Arirang News."
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