Seoul Agreement

Washington sees the agreement between Seoul and Tokyo as crucial to their three-way security cooperation to deal with North Korea`s nuclear and ballistic threats and to compensate for China`s growing influence. It went on to support the possible abolition of the inter-Korean military agreement, which promised to eliminate the practical threats of war as a result of secret leaflets. Despite the U.S. initiative to salvage the agreement, most South Korean analysts say Seoul is likely to end the deal. There is no clear way for South Korea to extend the agreement without losing face. Asked whether the ministry would explicitly express regret at the North`s threat to abandon the inter-Korean agreements, Yoh said, “We will replace our assessment (of the North Korean statement) with the announcement of the government`s position on this issue.” A few days before the expiration of an agreement on the protection of allies against the North Korean warmongers, Tokyo and Seoul merely reaffirmed their long-standing positions. Operations at the liaison office have already been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and Pyongyang has conducted dozens of weapons tests since the signing of the military agreement. South Korea`s foreign ministry said its negotiating team, led by Jeong Eun-bo, had stressed the need for “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable agreements” that would strengthen the alliance. “We listened, we adapted and we made compromises, and we know that an agreement… If we reach an agreement, the figure will be different from our original proposal and will probably be different from what we have heard so far on the Korean side,” he added.

Beijing and Seoul have also agreed to cooperate with Tokyo to actively promote the process of negotiating the free trade agreement between China and Japan and rok. He said the Japanese government had “expressed its understanding” but warned that the agreement could be “ended at any time.” “If they fail to take the appropriate measures for the senseless act against the countrymen, they would do better to prepare for the possibility of completely withdrawing the already dismal Kaesong Industrial Park after the end of the (Diamond Mountain) tour or to close the liaison office (North-South) whose existence only creates problems, or the abolition of the (North-South) military agreement in the military field which has little value.” But the chief U.S. negotiator, James DeHart, told reporters after Wednesday`s meeting that “$5 billion is not a figure we are currently focusing on in the negotiations …