Even if relations between the Japanese and Koreans are historically strained, Tokyo and Seoul have agreed to strengthen military cooperation under pressure from Washington. This targets North Korea and China.
In fact, Japan and South Korea are not exactly best friends due to the long-term occupation of the Korean Peninsula by imperial troops in the early 20th century and the many crimes committed against the Korean people at the time. But the military threats that the two countries allied with the United States face from North Korea and China ensure that realpolitik is victorious.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Japan on Thursday. The aim was to unfreeze somewhat strained relations between Tokyo and Seoul. This diplomatic initiative is also backed by the US (Washington put pressure on it), which wants to mobilize its allies in the region more strongly against China. Because in Washington they also know that the US troops are dependent on the massive support of the regional allies in an emergency.
As Nikkei Asia reports, the two leaders agreed to step up cooperation against North Korea and resume a bilateral working-level security dialogue that has been suspended for five years. Yoon announced the “normalization” of the GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement), which provides for the exchange of military information between the two countries.
South Korean President bowed down to the Japanese flag. A humiliating moment. Japan once colonized Korea for 40 years. The Japanese flag is regarded in South Korea the same way swastika is seen in the west. pic.twitter.com/gVCTOuz9oR
— Manchurian Candidate (@CV18Captain) March 16, 2023
The GSOMIA allows the two countries to share information about North Korean missile tests. “I believe that the two countries should be able to exchange information about North Korea’s nuclear missile launches and trajectories and respond to them,” Yoon said at a news conference after his meeting with Kishida. Various export restrictions are also lifted by Japan.
Japan plans to lift restrictions on exports of key semiconductor materials to South Korea, in a move toward ending a feud that has spanned several years between the two tech powerhouses https://t.co/FXQqFGqg5E
— Bloomberg Economics (@economics) March 16, 2023
In any case, it turns out that Washington’s attempt to set up a broad alliance against China (and North Korea) is obviously bearing fruit. A new front building in East Asia, so to speak.
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