South Korea's decision to end a military intelligence sharing deal with Japan will not necessarily have an immediate effect on security. But it could create problems for the South Korean alliance with the United States, experts warn.
South Korea announced Thursday that it does not plan to extend the intelligence sharing agreement with Japan. The decision intensified the South's growing trade dispute with Japan. That dispute is rooted in Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
The agreement, the General Security of Military Information Agreement, did not require the two sides to share military intelligence. But it served as a "roadmap" for the control and use of intelligence.
The South Korean move shows the United States' lack of influence in East Asia. U.S. officials helped negotiate the agreement in hopes it would help the two Asian countries work together on issues involving North Korea, China and Russia.
While the two countries still have the ability to share intelligence information, the process will be slower. Much of the intelligence will probably pass through the United States first.
That could limit cooperation at a time of crisis. It could also affect efforts to collect information about North Korea's nuclear and other activities. North Korea has launched eight short-range missiles since May. It has also threatened to begin testing long-range missiles.
It's not just symbolic. Both sides have too much to gain, says Sung-Yoon Lee. He is a Korea expert with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Japan has the technology to gather information on North Korea's satellites and radar, while South Korea is thought to be better at human intelligence-gathering.
But, most importantly, the decision may affect the relationship between the South and the U.S. government. U.S. officials may no longer see South Korea as a reasonable and dependable security partner.
Next month, the two sides are to open talks over ways to share the cost of the U.S. military presence in South Korea. U.S. officials want South Korea to spend more. The decision about intelligence sharing makes the situation tenser.
It greatly undermines the credibility of South Korea as a security partner in the eyes of the United States, says Bong Young-shik. He is with the Institute for North Korean Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said he was "disappointed" by the South Korean decision. A U.S. military spokesman said there was strong concern and disappointment.
Both Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had said publicly they hope South Korea would not end the deal.
In a statement released on Friday, a South Korean official said that his country had close communications with the United States as it made its decision to end the agreement. He added that his government will work to make sure the U.S.–South Korea alliance is not weakened.
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周四，韩国宣布其计划不再与日本继续续签情报分享协议 。该决定加剧了日韩愈发严重的贸易纠纷问题 。日韩纠纷，究其根源，是因为日本曾在20世纪上半叶占领了朝鲜半岛 。
韩国此举表明，美国在东亚缺乏影响力 。一些美国官员助力协商了该协议，以期能够帮助日韩这两个亚洲国家一起推进一些涉及到朝鲜、中国、俄罗斯的问题 。
虽然日韩两国依然有能力共享情报信息，但共享的过程会放缓 。其中相当一部分情报很有可能会先通过美国 。
这样会限制危机时期的合作，也会影响收集朝鲜核活动和其他活动的情报 。自5月以来，朝鲜发射了8枚短程导弹 。朝鲜也曾威胁说要开始测试远程导弹 。
李成允李成允表示，这不只具有象征意义，这对双方都大有裨益 。李成允是朝韩事务专家，任职于马萨诸塞州塔夫茨大学弗莱彻法律与外交学院 。
不过，最重要的是，韩国的这项决定可能会影响韩国与美国政府之间的关系 。一些美国官员可能不再将韩国视为可信赖的合理安全伙伴 。
下个月，双方将要举行会谈，内容关于共同承担美国在韩国部署军力所消耗成本的方法问题 。一些美国官员希望韩国承担更多费用 。韩国关于情报共享方面的这个决定会让形势更加剑拔弩张 。
该决定极大地破坏了韩国作为美国眼中安全伙伴的可信度，奉英植如是说道 。奉英植任职于首尔延世大学朝鲜研究所 。
周四，美国国务卿蓬佩奥表示自己很“失望”韩国做出了这样的决定 。美国军方的一位发言人表示他们深表担忧，大失所望 。
在周五发布的一份声明中，某韩国官员表示，韩国在做出终止该协议的决定期间，与美国有着密切的沟通 。该官员补充表示，韩国政府将努力确保美韩联盟不会受到削弱 。
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