A group of retired South Korean generals is calling on the administration of liberal President Moon Jae-In to reverse his stance and extend the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between South Korea and Japan.
The GSOMIA is slated to expire on Nov. 22 unless Moon agrees to renew the pact. The South’s president has given no indication that he will renew the agreement.
The Korean Retired Generals & Admirals Defending the Nation (KORGAD) said in a statement: “Once the GSOMIA pact is scrapped, it will make it difficult for Seoul to defend itself against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missiles, and South Korea could potentially be excluded from Washington’s security strategy. We urge the Moon administration, bringing calamity upon itself with policies based on anti-Japan sentiment, to immediately withdraw its decision to abrogate the GSOMIA pact and solidify the Republic of Korea (ROK)-U.S. alliance.”
GSOMIA, the statement said, “is a bridge for security cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo and a cornerstone of their three-way cooperation with Washington.”
The Trump administration has also urged Moon to renew the pact.
The KORGAD statement continued: “If GSOMIA, the military information protection agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, comes to an end on Nov. 23, South Korea will no longer be able to obtain necessary information on North Korea from Japan. Since the Sept. 19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement has already compromised the South Korean military’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, if Seoul stops information exchanges with Tokyo, it will severely hinder South Korea’s ability to determine North Korea’s military status. Now is high time to scrap the Sept. 19 Inter-Korean Military Agreement, not GSOMIA.”
The statement continued: “The country that is most eager to see GSOMIA being abrogated is North Korea. If the Moon administration pushes ahead with its scheme to scrap the pact regardless of the dissuasion of its allies including Washington and South Koreans, its decision will benefit the enemy, which ultimately is a crime of benefiting enemies. In addition, if the abrogation of GSOMIA undermines the ROK-U.S. alliance and contributes to the increase of Seoul’s share of defense costs, a criminal charge of causing loss to the exchequer will be added as well. South Korean citizens will not tolerate the Moon administration’s termination of GSOMIA. Once the pact is scrapped, the KORGAD will charge the Moon administration with a crime of benefiting the enemy and expedite its impeachment campaign.”
The KORGAD group in July had warned in an open letter to Korean War veterans in the United States and other nations that “A flower of democracy in South Korea is about to fall.”
KORGAD criticized Moon’s overtures to North Korea and said the president was moving South Korea away from democracy.
“South Korea is in danger,” the group said. “We the veterans came to the conclusion that the current situation in Korea is just as same as the Korean War. Our situation now is the dawn of the D-Day of the Korean War.”
Tara O, director of the East Asia Research Center and a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Air Force (Ret.), wrote:
“When 850+ retired generals and admirals speak with one voice and send an SOS to the veterans outside of South Korea, they have a good reason. They’re afraid Moon Jae-In and his groups are destroying South Korea and turning it into a socialist country. The process of trying to decouple the U.S. and Japan from South Korea, and orienting South Korea toward North Korea, China, and Russia is occurring as we speak. Left unchecked, millions could lose freedom and lives.”