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Friday, November 15, 2019, 12:19
S. Korea, Japan hold talks ahead of ending intel-sharing pact
By Xinhua
Friday, November 15, 2019, 12:19 By Xinhua

A woman walks past an advertisement featuring Japanese and the Republic of Korea's flags at a shop in Shin Okubo area in Tokyo, Aug 2, 2019. (EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP)

SEOUL — Senior diplomats from South Korea and Japan on Friday held working-level talks in Tokyo ahead of the scheduled termination next week of the military intelligence-sharing pact between the two countries, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asian and Pacific affairs at the South Korean foreign ministry, met his Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki in Japan's foreign ministry building.

During the meeting, the two diplomats would discuss the issues of mutual concern, the Seoul ministry said without elaborating further

During the meeting, the two diplomats would discuss the issues of mutual concern, the Seoul ministry said without elaborating further.

ALSO READ: S. Korea to reconsider intel pact if Japan scraps export curbs

The latest talks between Kim and Takizaki were held in Seoul on Oct 16.

The dialogue came ahead of the scheduled termination on Nov 23 of the Seoul-Tokyo military intelligence-sharing pact, called the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

The GSOMIA was signed in November 2016 by the two sides to share military intelligence on nuclear and missile programs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

South Korea decided in August to scrap the military accord in response to Japan's tightened regulations in July over its export to South Korea of three materials, vital to produce memory chips and display panels that are the mainstay of the South Korean export.

Japan's export curbs came in an apparent protest against the South Korean top court's rulings that ordered some of Japanese companies to pay reparation to the South Korean victims who were forced into hard labor without pay during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea maintained that it would reconsider the GSOMIA if Japan scraps export curbs and the two sides restore friendly relations.

READ MORE: South Korea to end intel-sharing pact with Japan as planned

In June, Seoul proposed a so-called one-plus-one deal, in which South Korean and Japanese firms create a joint fund to compensate the wartime forced labor victims.

However, Japan rejected any deal claiming that all colonial-era issues were settled through the 1965 accord that normalized diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo.  

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