Kono Urges Seoul to Maintain Military Info Pact with Japan

Politics

Bangkok, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Minister Taro Kono on Sunday renewed Tokyo's call for South Korea to withdraw its decision to scrap the two countries' military information-sharing pact, which is now set to expire in less than a week.

He made the request at a meeting with South Korean National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Bangkok. The two nations' General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, is slated to run out at midnight Friday (3 p.m. GMT), after the South Korean government decided in August not to renew it.

Kono, who took up the defense portfolio in September, met with Jeong for the first time.

At the start of the meeting, Jeong said it is regrettable that the two countries' relations have deteriorated, while showing his readiness to make efforts to help develop bilateral defense cooperation.

Kono stressed that the collaboration between Japan and South Korea and among the two countries plus the United States is critically important at a time when the security environment surrounding the two East Asian countries is very tough due partly to North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press