On November 23rd, Korea and Japan signed the GSOMIA contract (General Security Of Military Information Agreement), an agreement for the countries to share their military secrets. It regulates the way of offering or utilizing information and protection of information etc. Currently, Korea has GSOMIA contracts with 24 countries. The Korea-Japan GSOMIA is an agreement with national defense exchange including bilateral personal or education exchange and bilateral corporate training, etc. This is for sharing military information and the primary goal is improving Korea, US and Japan's triple alliance. This agreement is contracted by Japan. Japan thinks that if the US military withdraws from Korea, Korea will have a military crack and it will affect Japan’s security. So they persuaded the US to make an agreement. So when the GSOMIA becomes effective, our dependence on Japan will increase. Therefore, the nation has become angry because they don't want to depend on Japan. They call this the modern Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905.
|President Park and Prime Minister Abe push ahead with signing GSOMIA|
The Korean people's position is this: First, “This is an untimely agreement,” the government can't avoid criticism because people are confused by news every day and the government delays other work and progress by signing GSOMIA. They have to solve so much corruption. Also, Korea-Japan diplomacy is bad now. Japan's anti-Korean sentiments and Korea's anti-Japanese sentiments have reached an extreme. Korean said, “We can't understand why we have to sign a contract with Japan. Japan didn't apologize about comfort women. Also the Park government provokes us with standardization of history textbooks. They beautify things of the past. Furthermore, Japan wants to make territorial disputes, they want Dokdo. So sharing military information is nonsense.” Second, “Japan is a war-crime country, so they can't make war. But they want to be an ordinary country. This agreement will support Japan to become an ordinary country.” This agreement will support Japan's Self-Defense Forces become a formal military. When that happens, there is a possibility that Japan will dispatch Self-Defense Forces on an ordinary day for Japanese safety against those who live in Korea. Hwang Kyo-Ahn, ex-Prime Minister said, “We will permit Japan's Self-Defense Forces' entrance to Korea when it is necessary,” and Shinzo Abe already mentioned it. Third, “The Korea-Japan cooperation system can't respond effectively to the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles.” The Korean peninsula is short because when North Korea shoots a missile, it will reach South Korea in about five minutes. So Korea-US authorities defined their position for a long time that missile defense is not practically possible. Moreover, when North Korea shot long-range rockets in 2012 and earlier this year, Korea detected it at first, not Japan. So Japan will not help us. For these reasons, the nation said, “We can't interpret this agreement nicely,” and they signed petitions for anti-GSOMIA and criticize this agreement.
But the government's position is this, “Our country's information collecting ability is lacking. When we contract the agreement, we can get a lot of eyes monitoring North Korea and exchange military information without US approval. Also, the US can't monitor North Korea 24 hours because they have to monitor all of the world. But Japan can do this and they have a lot of information about North Korea. We have to improve the Korea-Japan cooperation system to reply to North Korea's provocation.”
Japan has had a positive reaction because they don't have something to lose and China is strongly opposed to this agreement. They criticize our government because they think it will cause a Northeast Asian Cold War. Also, North Korea thinks that this is a sign of Japan's Korean peninsula invasion ambition. If we provoke them, they will retaliate and the US agrees to make a triple alliance, and they want to share North Korea's information.
The Korea-Japan GSOMIA has some benefits in that we can block danger beforehand. But we can't interpret the content nicely and it feels uncomfortable because of our history. Therefore, the government has to listen to the nation's voice. For signing GSOMIA, the nation's resistance will be deepened and confusion will continue.
By Choi Ga-yun cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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