June 15, 2022
WASHINGTON/SEOUL – South Korea is ready to normalize security cooperation with Japan as soon as possible, according to South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.
Speaking to reporters on Monday after a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, Park said South Korea wants to improve relations with Japan over the general security of military information agreement ( GSOMIA), under which the two countries will share defense secrets, as well as improve overall bilateral relations.
Park was visiting the United States for the first time as foreign minister, following the launch of the administration led by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on May 10.
He said Japan, the United States and South Korea should share information and cooperate on policies to deal with the threat from North Korea. South Korea therefore hopes to soon normalize cooperation and information-sharing relations with Japan on security issues, Park said.
The foreign minister reportedly made the remarks in accordance with the wishes of US President Joe Biden’s administration, amid heightened tension over North Korean affairs. The United States wants Japan-South Korea relations to improve and strengthen ties between the three countries.
In August 2019, the administration of former South Korean President Moon Jae-in decided to suppress the GSOMIA as its relations with Japan continued to deteriorate. The Moon government announced in November that year that the decision to abandon the deal had been put on hold in the face of US opposition, but the volatile situation continued, with Seoul saying it could invalidate the deal at any time. .
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference on Tuesday that the GSOMIA will contribute to the strengthening of security cooperation between Japan and South Korea, as well as peace and regional stability.