Gsomia can still be suspended, says ministry

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Gsomia can still be suspended, says ministry

South Korea can “reactivate” the now-suspended decision to terminate a military information sharing pact with Japan, depending on progress in negotiations over Tokyo’s export restrictions and wartime forced labor, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

South Korea decided in August to terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement (Gsomia) in a tit-for-tat move after Japan imposed export restrictions against the South in connection with a row over wartime forced labor.

But the planned termination was halted at the last minute in November as the South decided to suspend the termination decision after Japan agreed to hold negotiations about the export curbs and the wartime forced labor issue.

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry warned the South can terminate Gsomia depending on the situation again.

“The government will continue to urge Japan’s complete removal of export curbs through dialogue between the trade authorities and through diplomatic channels,” the ministry said in a report submitted to the National Assembly.

“Depending on the discussions regarding the removal of export curbs and solutions for the forced labor issue, it is possible to consider reactivating the notification for Gsomia’s termination,” it said.

Last month, Japan partially lifted its export control on one of the three products subject to the tightened screening. While Seoul welcomed the move as progress, it called it insufficient to defuse the feud.

President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their summit talks in China last month and agreed on the need to resolve the matter through dialogue despite the differences. It was their first one-on-one talks to have taken place in 15 months.

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