The two governments made their first attempt in 2012 to sign such an agreement under the government of Lee Myung-bak, then president. However, in the face of strong criticism and opposition from both opposition parties and public opinion when the government brought GSOMIA before the National Assembly, President Lee was forced to renounce it. Park Geun-hye, who succeeded him, hesitated to try again and instead tried to strengthen ties with China, including by participating in a military parade in Beijing in 2015 to celebrate the end of World War II. A Gallup Korea poll on Friday found that 59 percent of the 1,007 respondents were opposed to the agreement between the two countries. In Beijing, which is North Korea`s main supporter despite China`s anger over its nuclear missile and missile tests, the Foreign Ministry said the deal would exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula. The Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan signed an agreement on the General Security of Military Information (GSOMIA) on 23 November. It is hoped that this bilateral security agreement will play a decisive role in efforts to contain North Korea`s grave provocations. Japan-ROK GSOMIA is also an important development for the United States. Over the years, through its bilateral alliances with Japan and South Korea, the United States has played a key role in stabilizing regional security and ensuring security for both Northeast Asian countries. In recent years, in particular, the three countries have clearly recognized the importance of trilateral cooperation following the Obama administration`s initiative to “reorient itself to the Asia-Pacific” and North Korea`s persistent provocations and have promised to strengthen military cooperation, which was most clearly demonstrated by a joint missile exercise in June. But Washington has struggled to establish closer relations between the three countries, mainly because Tokyo and Seoul have had strained relations on historical issues for years, including comfort women, and differences over territorial issues.
Japan-ROK GSOMIA would provide an urgent boost to U.S. efforts to strengthen bilateral security cooperation between the United States and Japan-ROK to address North Korea`s provocation and other security challenges in Northeast Asia. It is also important to keep in mind that President Park, who has been charged, may have had her own reasons for ordering the Minister of National Defence to sign GSOMIA with Japan. Their approval rate was only 5% just before the impeachment proceedings. Given that a bilateral agreement between Korea and Japan is unlikely to be concluded under a progressive government, Park could be determined to strengthen trilateral cooperation not only for the United States and Japan, but also for their own heritage. Park, however, has moved toward trilateral cooperation between the United States and Japan and the ICC, after North Korea put nuclear tests back on track and China clearly circumvented sanctions.