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#US verbal broadside at Seoul over axing of pact on US-sponsored intelligence-sharing pact with Japan - Seoul shoots back, cites ‘national interest’ to justify its feud with #Japan @9b3OR2qdITMbDcd asiatimes.com/2019/08/articl…
American officials deployed unusually harsh language toward South Korea’s Moon Jae-in administration after Seoul on Thursday announced that it was terminating GSOMIA, a US-sponsored intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.
As relations between Seoul and Tokyo, the two key US allies in Northeast Asia, continued to plummet, some warned darkly that the unilateral cancellation of the agreement could be the start of an irreversible fracture in US-led security efforts in the region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was “disappointed” by the decision, while the State Department said Seoul’s move “reflects a serious misapprehension on the part of the Moon Administration regarding the serious security challenges we face in Northeast Asia.”
The US Department of Defense also spoke up, expressing “strong concern and disappointment that the Moon Administration has withheld its renewal” of the agreement. Annual renewal of the GSOMIA, or General Security of Military Intelligence Agreement, had been set for Saturday.
Critically for Washington’s interests in the highly strategic region, GSOMIA represented the only official alliance tie between the militaries of the 2 Northeast Asian democracies & US allies. The two countries are frequently at loggerheads over territorial and historical issues
The US has long been keen to create a trilateral united front in a region where it faces off against China, N Korea & Russia. As such, it customarily treats Japan & South Korea with kid gloves, not wishing to be seen to favor one capital over the other in their endless disputes.
“There is no question regarding the strategic stupidity of this decision,” stated one. Another US expert, who has held high-level diplomatic positions in South Korea in the past, said his original reaction to the news was “unprintable.”
He went on to say: “This is a foolish and misguided decision that historians years from now may well look back upon and say that it signaled the beginning of the end of the US-centric security architecture in Northeast Asia. What a strategic miscalculation!”
South Korean President Moon is a “fool,” added yet another expert, who formerly held prominent positions in US intelligence.
Referring to the popular sentiment from which the Moon admin says it takes its lead, and the widespread distrust of Japan within S Korea, the expert added, “Where does he think South Korean security threats come from? This is Korea First tribalism, the wisdom of the crowd”
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