politics

Seoul faces major decision over military pact with Tokyo

49 Comments
By KIM TONG-HYUNG

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No one wins here, and if the SK's decision is based purely on "saving face", then their government has no business being in power!

14 ( +23 / -9 )

Seoul has since said it could keep the agreement if Tokyo reverses a decision to downgrade South Korea’s status as a trade partner.

Utterly shameless South Korean government is.

Grow up!

12 ( +27 / -15 )

Its pointless having Korea in the GSOMIA. As PM Abe had stated, SK is untrustworthy. Who knows, they could be sharing information about Japanese Military with North Korea or Communist China.

Please pull out of this so called security pact, SK. Japan and USA will not even notice. PM Abe and Trump will be relieved.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

Seoul doesn't face a decision over the GSOMIA termination, that decision was made 3 months ago.

It is upto Abe san to decide if he wants it renewed or let it go terminated.

Retract the export control and the GSOMIA is restored.

Maintain the export control and the GSOMIA ends.

Abe decides, not Moon. And Abe's office told Americans Japan didn't wish to extend the GSOMIA.

-24 ( +6 / -30 )

Please pull out of this so called security pact, SK. Japan and USA will not even notice. PM Abe and Trump will be relieved.

Time to get your head out of the sand!

There are nearly 50,000 US troops stationed in SK, and the military HERE in Japan WILL go to their aid if Kim decides to ever cross the DMZ.

Japan by default will ALWAYS be linked to them, through the US presence here in Japan. Dont think for a second that Japan wont be affected.

Also do not ever forget that the US forces in Korea are a part of the United Nations forces that have numerous other countries involved with as well!

This isnt just about the US, SK, and Japan!

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Go ahead and terminate the agreement. Neither US nor Japan relies much on military intelligence from SK.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Seoul doesn't face a decision over the GSOMIA termination, that decision was made 3 months ago.

> It is upto Abe san to decide if he wants it renewed or let it go terminated.

Exactly, a fair trade

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

@oldman_13 @yubaru

Both countries are being childish. It's not one. Both Japan and Korea are almost equally culpable. The list that Japan removed South Korea on is also the list that Japan should remove countries such as Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Argentina from for the exact same reasons it has removed South Korea. Also, South Korea did nothing different than it had done for years. It only "suddenly" became an issue once the war crimes issue became an issue.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Lastly, the US needs to also realize that them trying to extort Japan and South Korea would only make things worst. They are saying fix the issue and pay us 5x the cost.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Seoul doesn't face a decision over the GSOMIA termination, that decision was made 3 months ago.

It is upto Abe san to decide if he wants it renewed or let it go terminated*

It’s still on Korea. Follow up and report correctly, and MAYBE the decision to remove Korea from the whitelist can be looked at again. Until that time the cancellation of the GSOMIA is less of a concern. It’s simply blackmail from SK because they don’t want to or can’t do what has been asked.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Seoul doesn't face a decision over the GSOMIA termination, that decision was made 3 months ago.

This is a statement from someone who has no actual clue about international politics and only spews propaganda. SK can make the decision to scrap the termination. SK can make the decision that international security is more important than saving face. It may not be the decision you like, but there is always a decision to be made.

All the tit-for-tat between Japan and SK before this did nothing to affect security of the region. Moon and South Korea were the ones dumb enough to gamble on this escalation and they' know that they've lost. Everyone is against them now.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

@Meiyouwenti

Go ahead and terminate the agreement. Neither US nor Japan relies much on military intelligence from SK.

You are absolutely wrong. You will be shocked to learn how much the US and Japan depend on Korea for missile launch detection.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2162786/aides-appalled-donald-trump-questions-us-security

Aides ‘appalled’ by Donald Trump’s ignorance on Korea stole letter from his desk, damning new Bob Woodward book says

Trump did not understand the need for a special intelligence operation in South Korea that allows the US to detect a North Korean missile launch within just seven seconds, versus 15 minutes from Alaska, said The Washington Post, citing veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Former top economic adviser Gary Cohn so feared that the programme would be at risk if Trump signed a letter formally withdrawing the US from a South Korean trade agreement that he stole the letter from the Oval Office desk, said CNN, which also obtained a copy of Woodward’s book.

The US passed on a copy of that 7 second launch detection radar signal to Japan under the JP-KR GSOMIA, but will have to cut Japan off after GSOMIA expires, because in the US-KR GSOMIA the US and Korea agreed to not pass secrets acquired from each other without the other party's consent. The JP-KR GSOMIA served as that consent, and it is expiring in 3 days. Japan's ballistic missile radar screen goes dark after November 23rd.

Korean radar feed is of such high importance to the US that a Trump staffer would steal his KORUS FTA termination letter from Trump's desk to prevent it from being announced.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Well done PM Abe Well done!

PM Abe has totally out played South Korea. No one is backing South Korea and everyone is blaming Moon.

From the article:

Critics say Seoul dug itself into a hole by threatening to terminate the pact while desperately seeking U.S. help to end its dispute with Tokyo, a brinkmanship that clearly damaged its trust with Washington.

PM Abe made a smart move by removing South Korea from the whitelist. He hoped South Korea would overreact and they did. Japan is on the verge of a major victory!!!!!!

PM Abe Banzai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Good. It isn't in the interest of the Japanese nation to have any bilateral deals/agreements with a nation seems to have the hobby of terminating them on a whim, like the ROK.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

The list of demands from Korea shows in some or the comments posted.

They also forgot to mention they don't like the rising sun flag.

They dont like our textbooks.

They dont like our government.

Dont like the Emperor.

Want Takeshima to be recognized as Korean.

Want to change the name of Japan Sea.

Want the 1965 aggrement to be renew now 80 years later with more money and new apology.

2015 comfort woman deal gone.

Boycotting Japanese products on mass.

Constantly live in the past and bring up the past on anything related to Japan.

They want apology today so tomorrow they say it never happened.

We have better relations with Communist China who suffered the most under Japanese occupation then we have with democratic S. Korea who received compensation and dozens of apologies over decades!

14 ( +22 / -8 )

Koreans take a fluid view of contracts and agreements, which they view as representative of a relationship and therefore not verbal or legalistic. So, it is not surprising that they do not abide by strict interpretation of a treaty negotiated and approved 50 years ago. How much money are they talking about? I heard somewhere it was $20 million. If it's addressing very old people, it cannot be that much. There aren't that many left around. Even though it is bald-faced extortion on the part of the Koreans, perhaps the most reasonable solution is to find an easy way to pay them off. Surely the GSOMIA is worth $20 million.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

The next logical step would be a termination of visa-free agreement between Japan and Korea.

Abe himself said over and over that Koreans are not trustworthy, yet millions of Koreans roam about freely in Japan. They pose a great security risk.

Abe played GSOMIA rather brilliantly. It's time to step up the pressure. Japan will be doing just fine with no ties to Korea.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

with a nation seems to have the hobby of terminating them on a whim

@Baxter I think you have your countries confused. The Japanese terminated Korea from its list on a whim. The Koreans said they wouldn't renew a deal once it expires. That isn't terminating anything on a whim. The deal is still in place. It simply won't be renewed.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Despite the U.S. push to save the agreement, most South Korean analysts say Seoul will likely let the agreement expire. There’s no clear way for South Korea to renew the agreement without losing face.

Small countries' (and people) have big faces.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

JJ JetplaneToday  08:03 am JST

@oldman_13 @yubaru

Both countries are being childish. It's not one. Both Japan and Korea are almost equally culpable. The list that Japan removed South Korea on is also the list that Japan should remove countries such as Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Argentina from for the exact same reasons it has removed South Korea. Also, South Korea did nothing different than it had done for years. It only "suddenly" became an issue once the war crimes issue became an issue.

Totally incorrect. None of those other countries are ignoring a Japanese request for export information. Japan is not being childish at all, it is exercising it's right in demanding compliance from countries it allows to be on it;s White List. South Korea is not only being childish, it is acting against it's own best interests.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

@seattle1

Very good analysis on how Korea view those agreements. However I disagree with the "paying them off" for the same reason. Korea has demonstrated repeatedly in the past that any payments can be disregarded as insufficient or not intending to (whichever was agreed at that time) or even denied solely based on their feelings, which are based solely on their hatred towards Japan (relationship). So there is no easy way to compensate or apologize, sufficiently - because Korea will deny it ever happened, or if it did, they're not sufficient. So where would Japan go from here? What would be a reasonable option for Japan. Do they just accept that Korea will always be like this and tolerate ( and compensate and apologize)? Or do they move on? I'd say move on. If your opponent has no integrity, it would be a lose-lose situation. Reasonable conversation would be impossible with S Korea.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Sure, pulling out would be horrible for the stability of the country and region and would subject SK to heavy Chinese and NK pressure and influence, but that's not nearly as bad as losing face! Glad the govt. has their priorities straight and surely this will never be reflected on as a boneheaded decision!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Some quotes from the article above by the South Korean journalist, KIM TONG-HYUNG:

After exchanging haymakers with Japan over history and trade, South Korea expanded the feud

The writer is likening this to a boxing match where two countries of equal status and strength are fighting. But in other media South Korea is portrayed as the 'better' country with a stronger military. They are literally trying act like a vicitim of Japan while at the same time thinking they are superior to it. You can't be both.

South Korea continues to tie the fate of the pact to Japan’s trade restrictions, which it sees as a retaliation against South Korean court rulings that called for Japanese companies to offer reparations to aging South Korean plaintiffs for their forced labor during World War II.

And yet again, this journalist pins the so-called 'trade restictions' - they were downgraded back to NORMAL status, it's not a restiction at all - over 156 cases of re-export to North Korea of sensitive materials that could be used for weapons production, which defied sanctions. This is untrustworthy behaviour not worthy of special export approval treatment by Japan.

But it’s unlikely that Japan will restore South Korea on its “white list” of favored trade partners unless the countries settle their dispute over the forced laborers, which probably won’t be soon.

This is incorrect. South Korea also must provide information on the end users of sensitive materials that could be used for weapons production concerning 156 cases of re-export that South Korea has ignored Japan's requests for over 3 years. The forced labourers cases is a side-issue to this.

It's a re-export issue, hence the removal of South Korea from the trusted fast tracked export approval list.

South Korea’s decision to terminate the pact came as a surprise to Japan,

Oh no it didn't.

which didn’t anticipate Seoul to make a move that would anger America.

Oh yes it did...

The sheer ignorance on dsiplay here thinking Japan doesn't consider every possibility or reaction to situations by South Korea is mindblowingly naive. The South Koreans (as shown by this writer) think they are dealing with clowns... and they wonder why Japan has had enough dealing with them?

Others say the debacle over the pact is just one of many signs showing a widening divergence between Seoul and Tokyo over North Korea, China and other security issues.

For South Korea, the North is an enemy but also a future partner,” said Junya Nishino, a professor at Keio University in Tokyo.

This flies in the face of the statement by the Korean journalist above that Japan didn't anticipate South Korea would 'make a move that would anger America'. Even many people here have been saying the South is moving closer to the North for months, and South Korea leaving GSOMIA would play nicely into that eventuality. It's hardly surprising, even for casual observers. The pro-Korean narrative push is in overdrive now... and they're trippingover themselves.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The next logical step would be a termination of visa-free agreement between Japan and Korea.

Abe himself said over and over that Koreans are not trustworthy, yet millions of Koreans roam about freely in Japan. They pose a great security risk.

@ Jeff Ko, excellently stated. If Korea wish to continue this daily bullying and hatred of Japan, the Abe Cabinet would be wise to terminate Visa free status of Koreans, and severely cut back the number of Korean tourists and business people who can enter Japan each month. Probably to 25% of current levels, plus a security/background check should be performed on all before entering. There is a very strong potential security risk to Japan.

PM Abe, as usual, is playing the situation perfectly and will absolutely protect Japanese people.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

You are absolutely wrong. You will be shocked to learn how much the US and Japan depend on Korea for missile launch detection.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2162786/aides-appalled-donald-trump-questions-us-security

Aides ‘appalled’ by Donald Trump’s ignorance on Korea stole letter from his desk, damning new Bob Woodward book says

Trump did not understand the need for a special intelligence operation in South Korea that allows the US to detect a North Korean missile launch within just seven seconds, versus 15 minutes from Alaska, said The Washington Post, citing veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Former top economic adviser Gary Cohn so feared that the programme would be at risk if Trump signed a letter formally withdrawing the US from a South Korean trade agreement that he stole the letter from the Oval Office desk, said CNN, which also obtained a copy of Woodward’s book.

Dude stop trying to pass off this nonsense as fact. This is no better than saying 'my cousin heard it from his sister's roommate'. You actually believe that 'stealing a letter off a desk' would be the end of something in government. If this is really an excerpt from his book, Woodward has fallen quite far.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

This whole business is Abe's fault. Abe did not say why he suddenly put economic sanctions on South Korea. We had to wait a couple of weeks to hear his reasons, or rather, excuses. His complains, if they had any merit, could have been discussed and negotiated.

At some point Abe said that the SK Supreme Court decision on Korean slave laborers. Abe claimed this was not the reason for the sanctions, but everyone knows otherwise.

Let me emphasize that the decision on Korean slave labors was not made by the executive branch of government but by the judicial branch's highest court. There is a separation of powers in SK's democracy, which means the chief executive CANNOT order the judiciary to change its ruling. The Supreme Court's decision is technically final. I imagine that it is possible to appeal a Supreme Court decision. That is the legal course Japan should have taken---that is work within the SK legal system.

Anyway, the Supreme Court's decision was just. It did not violate the 1965 pact as study group of JAPANESE lawyers concluded .

Abe is a disaster.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

OssanAmericaToday  09:09 am JST

South Korea is not only being childish, it is acting against it's own best interests.

This is a statement which will disturb the pro-Korean commenters on here.

China is putting pressure on South Korea to lessen ties with the US via hatred and disrespect for everything to do with Japan. It's an obvious move, and one which South Korea can either totally reject (and improve relations with Japan) or embrace and wreck agreements and pacts etc with Japan (and by extension the US)... which we are seeing before our very eyes this year.

I hope China treats South Korea as well as Japan and the US did. It would not be surprising to see an even higher percentage of South Koreans emigrating to the West that there already is once SK become a vassal state of China.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I hope China treats South Korea as well as Japan and the US did. It would not be surprising to see an even higher percentage of South Koreans emigrating to the West that there already is once SK become a vassal state of China.

That will truly be disastrous.

Out of all the Asian ethnicities that emigrate abroad, it is the South Korean diaspora that is most egregious in spreading outright lies about Japan and promoting anti Japanese sentiments. You've see it across America with comfort women statues, declarations of Dodko, and the Sea of Japan. And sadly many Americans buy into that nonsense.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Both South Korea and Japan have egg on their faces. They both appear juvenile in this ongoing disagreement that stems from a court decision in South Korea. Tit for tat actions from both sides show an inability to compromise or be flexible. Just keep blaming everything on the other side seems to be the catch-cry of both sides.

Grow up, your both members of an international community and compromise is the only rational way to resolve disagreements. The example being set by both countries is deplorable. Rather than deal with the original small issue, escalate the issue over and over again into something much bigger and more serious. Stupidity at its finest.

Both sides continue to lose major face over this. With all the worry over face, the original issue goes unaddressed and unresolved.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

SK, a self-hypnotized nation with its own lying, emotional politicians and the people, now has to save face?

Getting out of control isn't it? Listen to the voice from inside reading "Anti-Japan tribalism" before it gets too late.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

jeancolmarToday  10:00 am JST

*This whole business is Abe's fault. Abe did not say why he suddenly put economic sanctions on South Korea.*

Firstly, removing South Korea from a PREFERENTIAL partners list which fast tracks export approval for various high tech materials is not an export sanction. I made a comment yesterday likening it to "me allowing you to cut across my front lawn so you can get home a bit earlier.... me stopping you from doing that - for whatever reason - is my right. You calling that (a sanction) is ridiculous."

Secondly, the removal of South Korea from that list was a result of South Korea ignoring for over 3 years Japanese requests to provide information on the end users of the sensitive materials that could be used for weapons production, concerning 156 cases of re-export to North Korea. The forced labourers case came at precisely the right time for South Korea to blame it for the white list removal, and not their own attempt to defy export sanctions of those materials to North Korea... which IS untrustworthy behaviour for a trading partner.

Thirdly, everyone knows about the separation of judicial powers and the governement in South Korea. Pro-Korean commenters always cite this ias the reason the forced labourers case went ahead, as if the government wanted to stop it but couldn't? So? Why didn't the judiciary throw the case out as it contravened the 1965 Treaty with Japan? Answer: Because they want more money - no matter if it's detrimental to Japanese relations. China endorses this action.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The Korean argument seems to be you need GSOMNIA, so you better put up with our unreasonable crap an lies, or we're taking our ball and going home!

Because that was a winning strategy, ever.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Get some legal opinion from a Japanese court suggesting to delist SK off group-A. That way SK must shut up and consent to Japan's decision.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The Korea talk in absurd. Japan is an advanced economy with a global presence, and South Korea is still under developing nation status with the World Trade Organization. This is their own choice to be defined as a developing nation.

Simply, they want everything both ways, without giving anything in return. They need to grow up fast, before they become China's child.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Peter14Today  10:14 am JST

Both South Korea and Japan have egg on their faces. They both appear juvenile in this ongoing disagr

Sorry, but only South Korea has egg on it's face and is acting juvenile. Nice try though.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@Hillclimber

Firstly, removing South Korea from a PREFERENTIAL partners list which fast tracks export approval for various high tech materials is not an export sanction. 

The WTO ruled that any form of export control except in case of war was illegal in Ukraine vs Russia case.

Hence Japan's action is illegal under the WTO rule, this is already established. Most experts expects Japan to lose the export control case against Korea.

So? Why didn't the judiciary throw the case out as it contravened the 1965 Treaty with Japan?

The Korean supreme court found that the 1965 treaty didn't cover damages, hence Japanese corporations are still liable for damages under the 1965 treaty.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

The WTO ruled that any form of export control except in case of war was illegal in Ukraine vs Russia case.

No such rule. Please post the rule you are thinking of and I will explain how you have misinterpreted it.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

The Korean supreme court found that the 1965 treaty didn't cover damages, hence Japanese corporations are still liable for damages under the 1965 treaty.

That Korean Supreme Court is part of that same government that made a "final and irreversible" agreement with Japan to end this whole fiasco, then immediately went on to whine about it and show that it clearly wasn't final or irreversible.

The Supreme Court of such a country is as much a joke as the government of it is.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

No such rule. Please post the rule you are thinking of and I will explain how you have misinterpreted it.

Rule? Samit was talking about a ruling by the WTO.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Out of all the Asian ethnicities that emigrate abroad, it is the South Korean diaspora that is most egregious in spreading outright lies about Japan and promoting anti Japanese sentiments. You've see it across America with comfort women statues, declarations of Dodko, and the Sea of Japan. And sadly many Americans buy into that nonsense.

The fact that you state comfort women and Dokdo are viewed as lies just goes to show how brainwashed you are.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

That Korean Supreme Court is part of that same government that made a "final and irreversible" agreement with Japan to end this whole fiasco, then immediately went on to whine about it and show that it clearly wasn't final or irreversible.

Even the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances announced that the 2015 agreement was inadequate. Abe tried to obscure its purpose by even calling the fund 'donation', not compensation. Whats with Japan and euphemisms?

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Even the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances announced that the 2015 agreement was inadequate. 

You mean that same agreement that both parties came to and agreed upon being, and I quote, “final and irreversible”?

That agreement that the Koreans then unilaterally decided want final nor irreversibly? Those same Koreans who went on and whined in a very not final manner, reversing the agreement and putting nothing forward in proposal in its place?

What a joke the leadership of that country is. And they think that their Supreme Court should be respected? It’s a kangaroo court.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Moon busy in keeping up appearance with broadcasting “ We are making every possible efforts with Japan until the very last minute” despite that all they’ re doing is repeating the same tit for tat, Japan must re-upgrade us back into A-group.

 

Shall we all start countdown for this stupid entertainers to step into red?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Strangely WTO ruling of valve which SK lost b didn't respect the WTO ruling. It's strange that SK only listens or follows a rule or treaty only if it's in their favour otherwise it court n govt is different in SK line comes out otherwise a criminal caN become SK's Justice minister

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Even if it is as well known fact as Korean scholars admit in " Anti-Japan tribalism" that Koreans lie everywhere, that doesn't mean you ethnic Koreans are entitled to keep doing the same here in public forum.

The Korean supreme court found that the 1965 treaty didn't cover damages, hence Japanese corporations are still liable for damages under the 1965 treaty.

1965 Treaty did cover damages and your supreme court just neglected. Your supreme court unilaterally decided it didn't cover compensation for illegal acts as direct results of illegal occupation.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

1965 Treaty did cover damages and your supreme court just neglected. Your supreme court unilaterally decided it didn't cover compensation for illegal acts as direct results of illegal occupation.

Actually that is not the problem.

Their supreme court can make ruling BUT they only have a saying if the treaty is constitutional or not, in which case order the government to go back and amend the treaty to withhold their constitution.

Did that happen? Nope.

Basically they foregone rulings if the treaty follows their constitution or not and interpreted the treaty itself.

Basically the court has no power whatsoever what's written within the treaty since it is out of their domestic jurisdiction. They can only rule of it's entirety and order the government to re-negotiate the treaty based on their constitutional duty.

Did the SK supreme court did that? Nope.

So why did they not order the government to re-negotiate?

Basically it opens a lot of cans of worms that SK cannot simply digest.

If they do they will have to returning all assets within SK to their original owner till the ratification of the new treaty.

Basically what SK is saying is, they want the cake and eat it too.

Not going to happen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Retract the export control and the GSOMIA is restored. Maintain the export control and the GSOMIA ends.

Abe decides, not Moon. And Abe's office told Americans Japan didn't wish to extend the GSOMIA.

You're completely misunderstanding.

Tons of a kind of mass-destruction weapon usable material which Japan is missing in Korea.

So, Japan demanded the explanation of the destination and usage but Korea rejected answering it.

Therefore, Japan just returned Korean status to cope with export control from the favored to the standard.

There is no country that doesn't control export and Abe hadn't told Japan didn't wish to extend the GSOMIA.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Retract the export control and the GSOMIA is restored. Maintain the export control and the GSOMIA ends.

What export controls? None were placed on Korea that I’ve heard of.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

1965 Treaty did cover damages

Between governments, yes. But not regarding individuals and corporations between each other nor vis-a-vis the governments. They simply don't have that mandate even they wanted it. The government can only legally curtail its own rights and claims.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

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