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Breakdown of military sharing agreement between Seoul and Tokyo: Washington says "very worried"


Breakdown of military sharing agreement between Seoul and Tokyo: Washington says "very worried"

Washington (AFP)

The Pentagon said on Thursday it was "very worried and disappointed" by South Korea's decision to sever an existing military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, amid tensions between Washington's two allies.

While traveling in Canada, the head of the American diplomacy Mike Pompeo for his part called the two countries to "maintain the dialogue".

"The Defense Ministry expresses its deep concern and disappointment after the Moon government's decision to refuse to maintain the" sharing "agreement with Japan, said a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn.

"We firmly believe that the integrity of our mutual defense and our security ties must be maintained, despite the friction in other areas of relations between South Korea and Japan," the spokesman added.

"We will maintain bilateral and trilateral defense cooperation with Japan and South Korea, where possible," he said.

During an official visit to Ottawa, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said he was "disappointed" by the South Korean decision.

"We urge both countries to continue to cooperate, to maintain the dialogue," he said at a press conference with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland.

"It is certain that the common interests of Japan and North Korea are important, especially for the United States," said the head of the American diplomacy. "We hope these two countries will be able to put their relationship back where it belongs."

Seoul said on Thursday that it was "not in the national interest to maintain the agreement that was signed with the goal of exchanging sensitive military intelligence."

Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have been plagued for decades by litigation inherited from the time when the peninsula was a Japanese colony (1910-1945).

And this latent conflict is a headache for Washington, which relies on cooperation between Japan and South Korea to support its policy in a particularly tense region due to the North Korean nuclear threat and the rise of power. China.

© 2019 AFP

Source: france24

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