South Korea and Japan are slated to sign a historic military agreement despite controversy over atrocities committed by Tokyo during its colonial period.
Japan said it would sign a pact with South Korea on Friday, a foreign ministry official told the Yonhap News Agency. The deal would enable the two countries to exchange military intelligence on North Korea’s missile programs and intelligence on China.
“Many people would agree in principle that Korea-U.S.-Japan cooperation is important in terms of our security, but it is not the truth that the pact has been hastily pushed,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Cho Byung Jae told the news agency.This would be the first military deal signed by the two countries in nearly 70 years. Japan ruled Korea from 1910 to 1945.
“We should not give away our classified military information to Japan which intends to go nuclear,” Park Jie Won, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic United Party, was quoted by the Korea Times as saying.
A civic group, the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, said Seoul’s move to sign a deal with Tokyo “has insulted the victims of sexual slavery more than the Japanese,” according to the Times.
Other groups assailed the deal’s clauses to share military information.
“The pact will seriously hurt the security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia,” said members of the Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea, according to the publication.
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