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Korea, Japan set to sign their first military agreement

On a positive note, South Korea and Japan are set to conclude their first ever military agreement, a General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) that would allow the two countries to share intelligence on North Korea.

Japan’s got six Aegis destroyers and 10 early earning aircraft, and South Korea’s got tons of HUMINT, so it seems like a win-win. The Chosun Ilbo notes, however, that some civic groups and the political opposition aren’t so keen on it, both due to Japan’s failure to deal with its past and fear of dividing Asia into two camps with China-Russia-North Korea on one side and the United States, South Korea and Japan on the other.

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  • http://blog.oranckay.net oranckay

    Japan is scared & worried about NK over the short term, but hardly delighted at the thought of a unified peninsula over the long term, however, “looong” term that might be, given post-reunification recovery, etc.

  • tomojiro5460

    “Japan is scared & worried about NK over the short term, but hardly delighted at the thought of a unified peninsula over the long term, however, “looong” term that might be, given post-reunification recovery, etc.”

    This is a myth. Even a unified Korea is only roughly a bit over of 60% in size and population. There is nothing to fear. I really don’t understand this mental attitude that Japan fears (and therefore do not want to see) Korean unification. From a geopolitical point of view, it is clearly China that do not want to see a unified “South Korea”. On the contrary, most of the Japanese want to see a unified “South Korea” as soon as possible.

  • jlee

    Thought that both Korea and Japan had AEGIS destroyers…

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “most of the Japanese want to see a unified “South Korea” as soon as possible.”

    I think they want to see an end to NK much more than a unified SK. I wonder what will happen with all the Nork Zainichi Koreans if that occurs?

  • tomojiro5460

    “I wonder what will happen with all the Nork Zainichi Koreans if that occurs?”

    I think most of them will just try to acquire South Korean passport (which is already happening a lot) or just became naturalized Japanese citizen (also happening a lot right now). North Korean Zainichi population is shrinking quite fast.

  • yuna

    #5 which reminds me, I should do a post on that zainichi North Korean footballer Jung Daese on the Healing Camp TV show.

    He didn’t come across as particularly grown up and it was a little hard to buy his sincerity especially when he tried to play the childhood economic hardship card. He just came across as someone who grew up particularly and still confused about his identity.

  • Q

    Metropolitan Tokyo has been being contaminated with radiation. Japanese archipelago becomes more and more uninhabitable place.

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/06/radioactive-japan-tokyo-metropolitan.html

    Japan has now more reasons to recover revisionistic territorial ambition. Many Koreans see this military agreement dangerous and unnecessary.

  • cm

    Q, I don’t know why you take so much delight in such a terrible nuclear disaster? Haven’t you had enough gloating over this already?

  • babotaengi

    Yeah – it’s pretty fuckin ugly, Q. Grow up.

  • Q

    I did not take delight in the Fukushima catastrophe. History tells that sly Japanese’ve found ways to take scapegoat of Koreans whenever their internal problems erupted. I’d concerned radioactive contamination of Japanese archipelago would pressure Japan to have revisionistic teritorial ambition. So many Koreans see this military agreement a lurking threat of Japan.

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

    This is at least as big a deal as Queen Elizabeth shaking hands with that former IRA capo.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I agree with this editorial:

    http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_editorial/539602.html

    My addendum, which I posted somewhere else is:

    “Nothing short of a formal apology ratified by their Diet (legislature), enforced by their courts, signed into law and backed up by changes in their K-12 education and behavior of their politicians (i.e. no more formal visits by elected and currently serving Japanese officials to Yasukuni Shrine) is acceptable.

    Koreans should also secede all monetary damage requests against the government of Japan or individual Japanese companies. All monetary damages should be paid for by the Korean government and/or companies like POSCO. It was never about the money. It was always about respect and respect has no price tag.”

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • cm

    #12, disagree. Only if the same paper would stick up for the human rights of North Koreans, as they are with the Comfort women. What the Japanese are doing on the other hand, are just hurting themselves and their image abroad, and even hurting their position. For example, do you see anybody else other then Gbevers defending the Japanese position? Do you see anybody that says Japan sufficiently apologized, and that Koreans should accept the apology and move on? All that have been silenced swiftly by increasingly agitated Japan and proven Koreans right, that Japan’s past apologies are all bogus (no surprise there).

    I am just amused. They shouldn’t be taken seriously and let them make a fool of themselves.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Oh, god cm. Can’t we all just get along? Do you have to join the West Faction all the time, point fingers at the East Faction [while the Japanese are burning Seoul]?

  • cm

    Just ignoring harmless fools from Japan, equates to letting them burn down Seoul? I don’t get it.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Ignoring the merits of an editorial because it was published in a periodical you don’t like.

  • cm

    Not only that I don’t like that periodical, but more importantly, the message I don’t like. What Hankyoreh proposes is ludicrous. South Koreans will never accept a military alliance with Japan, apology or no apology. A cooperation like this in itself is already controversial, but a military alliance??. It’s high time Korea start ignoring Japan, what they do with their text books, or what their view of history is, who cares. They are not a danger to Korea like China and North Korea.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Well… you and I disagree.

  • characteristic

    #17 – “…Do you have to join the West Faction all the time, point fingers at the East Faction [while the Japanese are burning Seoul]?”

    Pray tell, who is more likely to burn Seoul (and have stated so numerous times, even if blustering), NK or Japan? This military agreement may or may not be a good idea and the manner in which this was signed was underhanded, but in what universe would being wary of NK and China be a bad thing?

  • characteristic

    Oops, my comments were in response to #15.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    characteristic,

    Even if they (in the extremely unlikely event) conquered the South, they would never burn Seoul. They need something to film for their propaganda cameras and burning buildings just don’t quite cut it. I mean hell, the North Koreans didn’t even burn the Imperial Government-General Building in 1950. What’s the point of conquering if you don’t conquer intact? There would be nothing to show off…

  • characteristic

    Dude, I asked who is more of a military threat to SK in this day and age – NK or Japan? Korea should always be wary of Japan’s potential and awakening of militaristic tendencies but in 2012 and in the near future, who is more likely to cause trouble for Seoul?

    I didn’t mean the literal burning down of Seoul as in Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima/Nagasaki… although you’d still be naive to think there wouldn’t be great destruction over large areas of Seoul, in the (yes, very unlikely but not zero probability) event of an invasion by the North.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    For example, do you see anybody else other then Gbevers defending the Japanese position? Do you see anybody that says Japan sufficiently apologized, and that Koreans should accept the apology and move on?

    If only you could see the inbox for my blog email.

  • cm

    #24, not sure what you mean. Please explain.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Just saying that I get many lovely hate mails from Imperial Japan apologists doing exactly the same despicable shit that Bevers does — i.e. defending the Japanese position, etc.

  • Q

    Japan is not a necessary nation for the defense of S. Korea. Japanese would take most delight of Korean peninsula being a fierce battlefield again that they could take great advantage of. Japanese would be most happiest to feed fuel to any possible conflict in Korean peninsula. Yes, NK is a threat, but Japan could not be a reliable partner to cope with NK problem.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    . . . mostly because of my consistent advocacy for the former Comfort Women.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Dude… I was just answering your question:

    “…who is more likely to burn Seoul (and have stated so numerous times, even if blustering), NK or Japan?”

    Then you changed gears:

    “I didn’t mean the literal burning down of Seoul as in Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima/Nagasaki…”

    Please state what you mean the first time because it will avoid you clarifying later.

  • Q

    See Japan did not give up nuclear ambition that they continue to produce MOX (source of plutonium nuclear weapon) in Aomori Prefecture amid the horrible Fukushima disaster:

    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/04/150506.html

    It is a great paradox that the nation nuked twice and suffered the worst nuclear power plant catastrophe in human history still entrust the nation’s fate to the toxic material. Is it for the peace of Japan, Asia and the World? I do not believe so. The US already has enough nuclear weapon that could umbrella their allies.

    I’d hope Americans would not forget Japan could be a serious potential threat to the US, as long as they consider the colonial history and WWII as a holy war to liberate Asia from Western Imperialism.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    A 300,000 very high tech military is a very formidable potential force and I don’t see how it couldn’t hurt South Korea to have that force on its side.

    One scenario seldom discussed is what happens if NK attacks Japan or US military bases in Japan but doesn’t touch SK? I know it would secretly delight a few South Koreans, regardless of the mess it would create. If the NK regime were facing possible collapse and needed to rally the public I don’t see why they wouldn’t consider this option.

  • CactusMcHarris

    One scenario seldom discussed is what happens if NK attacks Japan or US military bases in Japan but doesn’t touch SK?

    Come on, YBS, – what are the chances of that happening?

  • CactusMcHarris

    Let me go OT to thank my shipmate Uncle B for learnin’ me proper-like on the block quote, but I was ready to cry ‘Sperwer’d’ just in case.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    32, Why not? It would deeply divide the SK public and a great many people would object to SK being used as a platform from which to respond. It would give the US the green light to try to take out whatever NK facilities they wanted but then nothing would rally the NK public more than attacks on NK soil. If the regime – whose reason d’etre is existing – thinks it’s facing a situation where it may no longer exist I don’t see why they wouldn’t consider the option.

  • gimbap fan905

    Not too keen on this if i’m honest…

  • dusjanbe

    Japan and South Korea/Unified Korea will have a Russia/Chinese like relationships.

    Ecconomic partnerships, mutual agreement, some cooperations regarding security concerns, but NEVER an alliance.

    To have an Alliance you must commiting yourself to the cause litterally, look up how many NATO countries stil dragging their feet in Afghanistan, Kosovo, *Libya* etc. for over a 10~ years period.

    The Brittish are stil Helmand Afghanistan, how many Japanese will drag their ass in even without Article 9 ?

    “A 300,000 very high tech military is a very formidable potential force and I don’t see how it couldn’t hurt South Korea to have that force on its side. ”

    1) They don’t use it in a forseable future
    2)Political clusterfuck, they don’t have their will through
    3) Even the right-wing (scrap Article 9 ) Japanese talk alot of shit, but when war comes, none will signing up

    Look at SEA and India, all countries simply buying more weapons to counter the Chinese rather then think America or Japan will come to help

    Allmost every Western countries have a professional army based on voluntarily participations, they will fight regardless what they feel about their political leaders policy.

    Problem with the Japnese is they have *no expirence* whatsoever reagarding combat opearations over the past 50 years, even with the latest Gucci military hardwares, they won’t figures out how to use it effectively to maximize impact.

    Foreign military ranks their navy high with great ASW capabilities, escort, long opearational ranges and can independently operates without U.S assistance

    Thier airforce can only operates within their own airspace, with no air-fuel capabilities, they can’t performs surgical strike on targets as well as Western counterpart.

    The army outright sucks, in the 70′s Zbigniew Brzezinski doubt that they even hold Hokkaido long enough against the Soviets before the U.S could assist. With tatics an strategy of the old Imperial Japanese Army that are stil largely unchange since the day of Guadacanal 1942, but now they have more fancy gears and equipment.