August 7, 2019
As Korea’s isolation deepens regarding its security, the conflict between Seoul and Tokyo has now reached breaking point. Beijing and Moscow have strengthened their military solidarity, and their military aircraft have invaded the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) and the nation’s territorial sky while Pyongyang’s missile provocation continues; however, Washington, Seoul’s ally, has turned a blind eye, and the Seoul-Tokyo conflict has become uncontrollable. The Moon administration, surrounded by no friend but security threats on all sides, continues to incite anti-Japan sentiment and is now reviewing the possibility of abolishing the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) as a countermeasure to Japan’s removal of South Korea from the trade white list. Against this backdrop, the Korean Retired Generals & Admirals Defending the Nation (KORGAD) resolutely opposes the abrogation of the GSOMIA based on the following reasons:
First, the GSOMIA contributes to the security of both countries, but it is especially crucial for South Korea’s security. The South has more advanced geographic and human intelligence (HUMINT) while Japan possesses superior technical intelligence capability, thanks to its multiple reconnaissance satellites, ground surveillance radars, airborne early warning & control system, maritime patrol aircraft and Aegis-equipped ships. Therefore, it is mutually beneficial for Seoul and Tokyo to share information on Pyongyang, thereby complementing each other’s information reliability, which is particularly advantageous to the South whose security top priority is to prepare against the North’s nuclear attacks.
Second, the GSOMIA is a bridge for ROK-Japan security cooperation, a foothold for the trilateral security cooperation amongst Seoul, Washington and Tokyo and a useful tool to strengthen the ROK-US alliance and bolster the alliance’s defense posture in the New Cold War era in which China is pressuring neighboring countries leveraging its military solidarity with Russia and North Korea. It is an unconscionable act of shifting the blame for failures in state affairs onto the public to urge the citizens to point “the bamboo spear” towards Japan and consider abolishing the GSOMIA without any alternative to overcome the current security crisis.
The ongoing conflict between Seoul and Tokyo is a “lose-lose game”, hurting both countries. In the era of Beijing’s expansionism and the New Cold War casting a dark showdown over East Asia, South Korea and Japan must maintain their symbiotic relationship as neighbors sharing the system of liberal democracy and market economy. Considering this major premise, the Moon administration’s irresponsible instigation of anti-Japan sentiment is a fatal mistake that will not only add to the economic burden already imposed on the public but also destroy the ROK-US-Japan security cooperation, the linchpin for the nation’s survival. Therefore, we strongly urge the Moon administration to immediately stop its irrational acts that will drive South Korea to the point of collapse and seek diplomatic solutions with Japan. // (End of the Statement)