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Blue House says it will work to upgrade ROK-U.S. alliance even after decision to leave GSOMIA Updated: 2019-08-23 14:53:45 KST

We begin at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae.
The Blue House says its decision not to renew the General Security of Military Information Agreement with Japan, or GSOMIA, will be an opportunity to strengthen the alliance between South Korea and the U.S.
For more on that, we go over to our Park Hee-jun at the top office.
Hee-jun, give us the latest.

That's right, Devin.
The Blue House says it believes its decision to walk away from GSOMIA, will not hurt the South Korea-U.S. alliance, but rather upgrade it.

As you said, the top office announced on Thursday that it will withdraw from the agreement.
But the decision has received a backlash from not only Japan, but also the United States, who expressed disappointment over the decision that it says, undermines trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo.

South Korea's Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Hyun-chong, however, said again that the decision was made after coordination with the U.S., especially between the two national security councils.
It's true that the U.S. wished to extend the military agreement.
But the senior official is confident the bilateral alliance will become more robust after this decision.
He also mentioned that phone discussions between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump can be considered, if necessary.

And addressing security concerns
While there may be concerns as to the resulting lack of military intelligence, Kim says South Korea will actively make use of TISA.
TISA, or the Trilateral Information Sharing Agreement, is a pact established between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan in 2014.

It enables the exchange of classified information regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
But information would have to flow through the U.S., meaning it will not be real-time.
He says this, along with an increased military defense budget, will help maintain the country's national security and military readiness.

I'll be back with more details in our later newscast.
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