Let’s get an expert’s view on Seoul’s decision to pull out of GSOMIA - its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a move that sharply raises the stakes in the neighbor’s increasingly bitter spat over trade and historical issues.
Joining us on Skype is David Maxwell, Senior Fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies - a Washington-based policy think tank.
David, there’s not much that surprises me these days, but I was genuinely shocked to hear this news yesterday. As a national security expert with decades of experience on Northeast Asia issues, what’s your reaction to South Korea’s move to withdraw? And do you agree with the reason given ? that is wasn’t in South Korea’s national interest to maintain the agreement?
What kind of diplomatic blowback to you think is coming South Korea’s way because of this - particularly from Washington and Tokyo?
You are also a military man of many years, how badly will this move handicap trilateral (U.S.-South Korea-Japan) coordination and cooperation on dealing with the continued nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea?
The Trump administration has maintained a hands-off approach to this problem between its two closest allies so far, do you think Washington HAS to step up to the plate now to stop China capitalizing on this enormous wedge that has opened up between Seoul and Tokyo?
Well, we'll see how this unfolds, but it's certainly an extremely serious situation. David, we appreciate your insights this morning. Thank you.