SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) – South Korea accused Japan of intentionally leaking and distorting information on Friday over the news that the two sides had agreed to continue a military intelligence-sharing pact.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office expressed deep regret over the Japanese government’s handling of the joint announcement, national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said in a statement on Sunday (Nov 24).
It would be difficult to carry out further negotiations if such actions were to be repeated, he said, calling it a breach of faith.
South Korea halted its plans to pull out of the General Security of Military Information Agreement and said it would temporarily withdraw a complaint it made against Japan at the World Trade Organization.
The decision by the two sides marked a rare reversal in tensions that have plunged to new depths in recent years and spilled over to hurt trade and tourism.
Chung accused the Japanese government of initially leaking the news, and then delaying the official announcement by about 7 to 8 minutes after an agreed-upon time.
Japan’s statement was significantly different from the content that was decided on between the two countries, he said.
If the deal was made based on what Japan announced, there wouldn’t have been an agreement at all, he added.
Japan has yet to comment on South Korea’s accusations.