Japan, S.Korea To Sign First Military Pact

South Korea will
soon sign a military agreement with Japan for the first time since
Tokyo’s brutal colonial rule ended in 1945, a report said Wednesday.

The
pact  named the General Security of Military Information Agreement
(GSOMIA)  calls for the two countries to exchange intelligence about
North Korea and its nuclear and missile programmes, Yonhap news agency
said.

It cited a government source for its information. A foreign ministry spokesman declined to comment.

Citing
lingering anti-Japan hostility, South Korea last month suspended the
signing of the agreement and of another military accord on sharing
logistics excluding weapons and cooperating in peacekeeping operations
abroad.

Seoul has decided to go ahead with the intelligence
agreement while shelving the more sensitive logistics accord, which
could allow Japan’s troops to enter the South’s territory in times of
crisis, the report said.

“The two governments will officially
sign the deal as early as this week, or sometime next week at the
latest,” the source told Yonhap, adding that Seoul’s cabinet approved
the move Tuesday.

 

“Japan has a lot of intelligence on North Korea and the GSOMIA with Japan will benefit us a lot.”

The
South had postponed discussion on the intelligence-sharing deal given
its territorial dispute with Japan, the source said. The two countries
are in contention over ownership of rocky islets in the Sea of Japan
(East Sea).

But North Korea’s long-range missile launch in April
highlighted the need to swap information, Yonhap quoted an unidentified
Seoul official as saying.

Many older people in South Korea still have bitter memories of Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.

Tokyo
has rejected Seoul’s proposal for talks on compensation for Korean
women used by Japan as military sex slaves during World War II.