S. Korea, Japan relations at a new low with termination of intel-sharing pact: U.S. perspective John Merrill, fmr. U.S. State Dept. NE Asia chief
The conflict in Northeast Asia that initiated from a history-turned-trade row between South Korea and Japan added multiple dimensions and dialed up a couple of notches in complexity in the last couple of days.South Korea's decision to scrap an intel-sharing pact with Japan, North Korea's another round of missile test, and South Korea's annual drills newly dubbed East Sea territory defense exercise.Security on the peninsula and beyond: Let's get an expert's view.Joining me live from Washington, D.C. is John Merrill, former chief of the Northeast Asia Division in the U.S. State Department; currently a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University.John Merrill, welcome to the program.I want to begin with your take on South Korea's announcement that it would abandon a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. You've headed the Northeast Asia Intel Bureau at the U.S. State Department. What does the termination of this security pact between Washington's two key Asian allies mean for the U.S.?The Seoul, Tokyo security agreement had been in part pushed by the U.S. in the first place to ensure tight monitoring of North Korea's missile activity.Three days after South Korea's decision to scrap GSOMIA, North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea - which North Korea later reported was a "newly-developed super-large multiple rocket launcher."Is this worrisome?South Korea, Japan relations have reached a new low - how does this change business and security architecture in Northeast Asia?How should Seoul, Tokyo and Washington each go about to resolve this issue?John Merrill, former chief of the Northeast Asia Division in the U.S. State Department; currently a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, many thanks for your insights today. We appreciate it.