Prelims level : International Events Mains level : GS-II International Events
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Why in News?

  • South Korea has decided to continue a 2016 military intelligence sharing agreement with Japan.


  • At an earlier time, South Korea had decided to discontinue the intelligence pact called GSOMIA, unless Japan decided to review its export control measure.
  • In recent years, the relationship between South Korea and Japan has deterioted due to the territorial dispute over the Dokdo islands known as Takeshima in Japan.
  • While South Korea controls them, the islands are claimed by Japan.


  • It is an exchange intelligence between Japan And South Korea was First suggested by the latter in 1980s.
  • The two countries were expected to sign GSOMIA in 2012, but it was not due to public outrage in South Korea against the agreement.
  • Its need was felt amidst a growing threat from North Korea, especially when it started conducting nuclear tests and developing ballistic missiles.
  • The US interest in this agreement stems from its need to forge alliances in the northeast to be able to analyses and respond to any threats from North Korea.

Takeshima or Dokda Island:

  • It is located in Sea of Japan and dispute between Japan and South Korea.
  • They are 210 kilometers across the water from Japan and South Korea and are only 19 hectares in area.These islands are called the Liancourt Rocks in the west, Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.


  • Japan occupied Korea during Second World War and withdrew from Korea after its defeat, which led to the signing of the 1951 treat with the Allied powers, under which Japan relinquished most of the Korean territory.
  • Japan argues that under the 1951 peace treaty, the Takeshima or Dokda islands were exempt from the deal.
  • South Korea does not accept the Japanese claim; it treats the island as a part of its territory.
  • Because of that reason why the South Korean government in 1952, took control of the island.
  • Now it is currently under South Korea control, which is unlawful by the Japanese government.
  • The South Korea government also wants to build a naval base on the Ulleung Islands, near the Dokdo islands in order to fortify the area around Dokdo.
  • There is also a dispute regarding the naming of the sea surrounding these islands. South Korea refers to the sea as the East Sea, whereas Japan refers it as the Sea of Japan.
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