SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — South Korea and Japan is set to formally sign a military intelligence pact in the middle of this week despite parliamentary and public objections here, local media reports showed on Monday.
The bilateral pact to directly exchange military intelligence on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) would be referred to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday for approval, according to Seoul’s defense ministry.
With the presidential ratification, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo and Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine would formally sign the deal in Seoul as early as Wednesday.
It will go into effect immediately after the signing of the accord, dubbed the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).
If realized, the two countries would reach an agreement less than a month after resuming talks on the military pact. The attempt to sign the deal in 2012 was botched at the last minute amid public outcry.
South Korea, which is grappling with a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend, has hurriedly pushed the pact as part of efforts to find a breakthrough by regaining support from conservative voters sensitive to security issues.
Seoul and Tokyo held the first working-level dialogue earlier this month and initialed the pact a week ago. The pact was approved here at vice ministers’ meeting three days later.
South Korea’s three main opposition parties have opposed the hurried, unilateral push, saying they will propose the impeachment of the defense minister if it is signed.
Public objections are strong in South Korea. According to a Gallup Korea poll released on Friday, 59 percent opposed the deal with Japan unrepentant of its brutalities during World War II. The Korean Peninsula was colonized by the Imperial Japan from 1910 to 1945.