South Korea ends close collaboration with Japan over North Korea

In 2016, under the auspices of the United States, the Japanese and South Korean governments signed a protocol for enhanced intelligence cooperation regarding North Korea. This allowed the two countries to quickly exchange crucial information without having to go through the United States, as was previously the case. But this cooperation did not last more than 3 years between the two enemy brothers in the Pacific zone.

Indeed,The South Korean government has just announced its withdrawal, a retaliatory measure which follows Japan's demotion of the country in the hierarchy of privileged trading partners, effectively limiting Seoul's possibilities of supplying primary components and materials, essential to its high-tech industry.

This announcement is just a new twist in the chaotic relations that the two Asian dragons have had for decades. South Korea, and its population, are still very vindictive regarding the Japanese invasion of the peninsula in the 20s, and the numerous abuses that the Japanese occupying forces committed during this period. This feeling has also been exacerbated since the election of the nationalist Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister of Japan, with a speech which sometimes flirts with revisionism and nostalgia for lost Japanese imperial grandeur.

Okinawa Marine Corps Defense News | South Korea | Anti-missile defense
The United States permanently deploys more than 80.000 troops in the Pacific zone. This is the American base on Okinawa

This renewed tension, however, is not good news for the region. Indeed, and as the apology was the report from the Australian think tank United States Studies Center presented yesterday, the cooperation of the great powers of the Pacific zone, namely Australia, South Korea and Japan, is considered essential to contain the very rapid increase in Chinese military and naval power underway. In addition, North Korea has demonstrated in recent weeks its ability to implement a new model of short-medium range ballistic missile whose flight profile poses immense problems for American, and therefore Japanese, anti-missile defense. and South Korean, using the same THAAD, Aegis and Patriot systems. Under these conditions, the shortening of information exchange times, as well as the improvement of operational cooperation between the forces of the two Asian military powers, prove essential to anticipate and, if necessary, react to a provocation or an attack from Pyongyang.

In any case, the current security situation is certainly not adapted to this type of tension between allies, and Washington, which ensures the defense of the two countries, in particular via the balance of deterrent forces with North Korea and China, will probably have strong arguments to share with its two partners to try to bring them back to better arrangements, particularly on the occasion of the G7 which is being held this weekend in Biarritz, in the presence of President Trump and the Prime Minister Abe.

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