Seoul tentatively signs intel deal with Japan

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Seoul tentatively signs intel deal with Japan

Korea and Japan tentatively signed a controversial bilateral military intelligence-sharing pact Monday, just 18 days after reopening negotiations on the issue amid strong backlash by the opposition party.

The Korean Ministry of National Defense announced that the two countries tentatively signed a bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) following their third meeting in Tokyo, after confirming that neither side had any differences of opinion on the draft.

Seoul announced that it plans to resume negotiations for a bilateral GSOMIA with Japan on Oct. 27, a move that has prompted a strong negative reaction in Seoul. The Defense Ministry claims directly shared military intelligence on Pyongyang will help deter its nuclear and missile threats. The two countries were close to sealing a deal in 2012, but it fell apart at the last minute due to public outcry.

The opposition parties protested the government’s move to seal the deal with Japan during a domestic scandal, while civic groups held rallies outside the government complex in Seoul protesting the GSOMIA.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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