The first military cooperation pact between Seoul and Tokyo since the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945 could be scrapped if the National Assembly opposes it, a senior government official said Sunday. The pact would allows Seoul and Tokyo to exchange classified military intelligence about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs as well as China's growing military power.
"We pursued the pact to obtain more information about North Korea, but if the public opposes it we will have to rely on a smaller amount of intelligence," the official told the Chosun Ilbo. "We get most of our information on North Korea from the U.S. so there would be no need to insist on it against massive public opposition."
The pact was passed in the Cabinet last Wednesday without review at the lower ministerial level. There were indications that the government tried to smuggle the pact past public notice, probably due to its incendiary potential. The government delayed signing the pact at the last minute on Friday when the opposition and even some ruling party members fiercely opposed it.