South Korea to Announce Normalization of GSOMIA Intelligence-sharing Pact

Pool via Reuters file photo
South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a ceremony of the 104th anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement Day against Japanese colonial rule in Seoul on March 1.

SEOUL — The administration of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol plans to announce the normalization of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), under which Japan and South Korea share intelligence, according to South Korean government sources.

The administration of former South Korean President Moon Jae-in unilaterally decided to scrap the 2016 agreement in August 2019 after the Japanese government placed restrictions on exports to South Korea.

Amid North Korea’s continued progress in its nuclear and missile development, Japan and South Korea will work to strengthen cooperation in the security field.

Following U.S. opposition to scrap the agreement, South Korea put off procedures to suspend the intelligence-sharing pact. Although information exchange based on GSOMIA is still taking place, South Korea is in a position to scrap the agreement at any time.

It is understood that the Yoon administration plans to withdraw a document it submitted in 2019 notifying Japan of the termination of the agreement and scrap a series of related measures.

Tokyo and Seoul said they would begin talks on lifting restrictions on Japanese exports to South Korea after the Yoon administration announced on Monday a plan to resolve a dispute concerning lawsuits linked to wartime requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula.

The expected lifting of the export restrictions prompted the decision to normalize the GSOMIA.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Yoon are expected to confirm the importance of the agreement at a Japan-Korea summit in Tokyo next week.

The timing of the announcement on the normalization of the agreement will depend on the progress made in talks on the lifting of export restrictions.