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U.S. wants S. Korea, Japan to continue military info sharing: VOA Updated: 2019-07-19 16:36:22 KST

Seoul's defense ministry said Friday that in principle, it will maintain the General Security of Military Information Agreement or GSOMIA, a deal it signed with Tokyo to share military information.
While revoking it would be a drastic step, the ministry said it's contemplating an array of issues including the agreement's effectiveness.

Following GSOMIA, which was signed in November of 2016, a ministry official said Japan has provided Seoul with data gathered by Japan's satellites regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles.
Meanwhile, of the three levels of South Korean military's classified information system, Seoul has been disclosing levels two and three to Japan.

The U.S. State Department has reportedly said it fully supports South Korea and Japan extending their GSOMIA.
According to Voice of America, an official at the State Department spokesperson's office said by e-mail that GSOMIA is an important part of achieving the final, fully, verified denuclearization of North Korea as well as maintaining peace and prosperity in Asia.
The State Department also said that GSOMIA shows the maturity of South Korea and Japan's security relationship and helps their joint efforts with the U.S. on denuclearization.

But speculations are rising that South Korea could review whether to renew GSOMIA or let it expire.
South Korean opposition lawmaker Shim Sang-jung, with the minor Justice Party, quoted National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong following Thursday's meeting between President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of the main five political parties, that the government has a position to maintain GSOMIA but that it can be reconsidered in accordance with relevant circumstances.

"If Seoul does not want to extend the bilateral agreement, it has to notify Tokyo by August 24th otherwise, it'll be automatically extended for another year.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News."
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