National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton departed on July 20 (local time) to visit South Korea and Japan after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he might go between them concerning their disputes.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently asked the president of the United States to act as an intermediary. The latter said in response that the best solution lies between the two Asian countries although he will step in if both wish.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the South Korean president did so in order to solve the issue with the United States, which puts much emphasis on security cooperation among the United States, South Korea and Japan. The newspaper also said that the South Korean government may put pressure on its Japanese counterpart with the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which expires on Aug. 24, regarding the Japanese government’s plan to exclude South Korea from its so-called white list.
“If the Japanese government excludes South Korea from the list of countries benefiting from simplified export procedures, the South Korea government will respond with the expiration of the agreement,” the newspaper said. The agreement is renewed each year and the South Korean government is required to notify Japan by Aug. 24 to renew it this year.
“The Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers are trying to have a meeting in China next month,” the newspaper went on to say, continuing, “Once the meeting takes place, the Japanese government will urge the South Korean government to handle the South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling on compensation for wartime forced labor victims.”