South Korea never used Japan's intelligence in analyzing North Korea's missile launches under the current Moon Jae-in administration, a senior official at the presidential office said Saturday, amid concerns over possible limits in countering the North's threats with the termination of an intel-sharing deal between Seoul and Tokyo.
The official made the remark after North Korea fired two projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea earlier in the day, marking the seventh such launch since late July.
"Not a single piece of information Japan provided regarding North Korea's missiles was meaningful," the official told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity.
The official's remarks came amid rising concerns over Seoul's decision on Thursday to pull out from the General Security of Military Information Agreement in the face of an escalating bilateral dispute over trade and history.
The termination of GSOMIA marks the culmination of a spat that began with Japan's decision to curb exports of sensitive materials to South Korea in early July.
Seoul denounced the move as retaliation for South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The dispute escalated with Japan's delisting in August of South Korea from a list of trusted trading partners and Seoul's tit-for-tat action to remove Tokyo from its own list.
Announcing the withdrawal from the intel-sharing deal, Seoul cited a "grave change" in security cooperation conditions between the two countries.
GSOMIA, which was signed in 2016, is now set to expire in November.
Seoul has said it will continue to pursue security cooperation with Washington and Tokyo to cope with nuclear and missile threats from the North and will do its best to minimize the impact of its withdrawal from the pact through close consultation with the United States. (Yonhap)