South Korea-Japan relations now face perhaps the biggest crisis since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1965.
What started off as a historical feud between South Korea and Japan has triggered a trade battle between the two neighbors and now, with the termination of their bilateral military intel-sharing pact Seoul-Tokyo tensions are affecting the security landscape in the Asia Pacific region.
South Korea has left the door open for a diplomatic solution to the pending issues, but Japan is showing no sign of accepting Seoul's calls for talks.
Today, we go in-depth on the impact on worsening Seoul-Tokyo relations and what to expect ahead with Dr. Park Won-gon, , Professor of International Studies at Handong Global University.
- President Moon Jae-in is repeatedly urging Japan to be honest about history while a group of South Korean lawmakers made a visit to Dokdo Island on Sunday, to condemn Japan's economic retaliations against South Korea. A Japanese politician, meanwhile, has made a reckless claim about South Korea's easternmost territory, asserting that 'war is the only way to take back the islets' angering the South Korean public and stirring a lot of criticism within Japan as well. How do you address the current Seoul-Tokyo relations and how long before the ice begins to melt between the two?
- The Abe administration's Cabinet reshuffle is set for next week and Abe's security advisor, Shotaro Yachi will step down. Word has it that top intelligence officer Shigeru Kitamura may replace him. Could the reshuffle, and change of Abe's security advisor bring about change to the strained Seoul-Tokyo relations?
- President Moon is now in Myanmar as part of his 3-nation tour of the ASEAN members, and prior to his departure he stressed that he will gladly hold hands with Japan and cooperate, if Japan decides to come to the table for talks. How do you see his latest remarks?
- The U.S. has repeatedly expressed 'disappointment' over South Korea's decision to terminate GSOMIA and this has led to concerns over a possible crack on the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Your thoughts?
- North Korea remained silent about the termination of GSOMIA but on Monday, it said the withdrawal from the pact is a natural result that reflects the thoughts of South Korean people. How do you see this?
- The UN General Assembly will be held this month, and much attention is being drawn to how the international community will address the rising Seoul-Tokyo tensions. Expected outcomes?
- Seoul and Tokyo are at loggerheads over a series of intertwined issues. In your perspective, what could be the starting point to ease tensions?