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S. Korea decides to prolong intel-sharing deal with Japan

19:33 August 22, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to prolong its military intelligence sharing deal with Japan for one more year to bolster cooperation in seeking North Korea's denuclearization and regional peace, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The two countries signed the pact, called the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), in November 2016. The deal is automatically prolonged if neither side chooses to end it by 90 days before the end of a one-year period.

"Our stance is to keep the agreement based on a comprehensive consideration of the Korean Peninsula's security situation," a ministry official said.

It concluded that strategic communication between Seoul and Tokyo is needed in the process of seeking the North's denuclearization and peace in the region, according to the official.

Inter-Korean relations have been improving in a dramatic way since earlier this year, culminating in summits in April and May between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Their third summit is expected to take place in Pyongyang next month.

The two countries technically remain at war as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

In this file photo, taken Nov. 23, 2016, and released by the Ministry of National Defense, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo (R) and Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine sign the General Security of Military Information Agreement during a ceremony at the ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap)



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