New South Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck expects Washington to help resolve Seoul's row with Japan that led to the cancellation of an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two Asian nationsMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th October, 2019) New South Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck expects Washington to help resolve Seoul's row with Japan that led to the cancellation of an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two Asian nations.
In late August, Seoul announced its decision to withdraw from the bilateral military pact on intelligence sharing the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) that Seoul and Tokyo signed in 2016 amid a series of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea. Washington was disappointed with South Korea's decision.
"Since the U.S. has said it will play a constructive role, I will continue to call for its constructive role. I see that as an important task for me in the short term," the ambassador told reporters, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
Lee said that once he arrives in the US next week, he would try to figure out what exactly the US side was going to do to help resolve the conflict.
Lee, 70, boasts more than four decades of diplomatic career. He is most notable for being Seoul's top negotiator in the first three rounds of the Six-Party Talks on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program in 2003-2004, as well as for serving as ambassador to Yugoslavia in 2002 and to Germany in 2005.
Prior to Seoul's decision to withdraw from the GSOMIA, Japan introduced export restrictions on certain materials much needed in South Korea by tech manufacturers. These steps are widely seen as a tit-for-tat to a ruling of South Korean Supreme Court in 2018 that suggested that Japan be held accountable for using forced labor of South Korean workers during World War II.