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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Seoul Enraged as Tokyo Denies its Side of the GSOMIA Bargain

KBS World Radio

Write: 2019-11-25 14:23:57/Update: 2019-11-25 14:43:17

Anchor: While announcing last week its decision to postpone the expiration of GSOMIA, an intel-sharing pact with Japan, Seoul explained that arrangements had also been made to discuss export control measures the island neighbor erected against South Korea's private tech sector. But as Japanese media outlets portrayed South Korea's decision as a diplomatic victory for Tokyo, the two sides are now mired in a debate over how the breakthrough was achieved.
Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: Japanese media outlets over the weekend described Seoul's conditional extension of the General Security of Military Information Agreement(GSOMIA) as a diplomatic win for the Japanese government.

One such report came from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which cited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying that his administration had not made a single concession leading up to Seoul's decision.

Citing an official who described the development as "almost a perfect game" by Japan, the Japanese daily Sankei concluded no compromise is expected over Japan's export curbs against South Korea.

The contrasting account from South Korea is that behind its decision was Tokyo's agreement to discuss ways to resolve the tough export control measures that initially led Seoul to consider scrapping GSOMIA.

Enraged by media denials of Japan's side of the bargain, a ranking presidential official in Seoul said Sunday that if Prime Minister Abe indeed made such remarks, it would be "extremely disappointing."

The official then rhetorically questioned if a leader of Japan with a conscientious mind would say something like that.

Seoul's Presidential National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong also came out strongly against the counter-narrative, saying if Japan negotiated with such an adamant position, South Korea wouldn't have been able to reach a consensus.

He said the Japanese government apologized for providing a discrepant account and reaffirmed the two sides' agreements leading up to the extension of GSOMIA.

Seoul and Tokyo were still mired over the issue Monday as South Korean presidential PR chief Yoon Do-han said Seoul received an apology from Tokyo, which Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied in a news conference later in the day.

Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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