Protesters demand an extension of the intelligence-sharing pact in front of the US embassy in Seoul on November 22, 2019Picture copyright

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Protesters outdoors the US embassy in Seoul known as for an extension of the pact, often known as GSOMIA

South Korea says it’s to proceed a navy intelligence-sharing pact with Japan that had been threatened by a long-running dispute.

The transfer was welcomed by the US which had urged the 2 international locations to settle their variations.

Seoul introduced its resolution on Friday, simply hours earlier than the pact was because of expire.

Tensions between South Korea and Japan return many years however have just lately led to a collection of tit-for-tat measures.

On the centre of the row are the “consolation girls” – tens of hundreds of Korean girls who have been pressured to work in brothels for Japanese troopers throughout World Warfare Two. South Koreans need reparations however Japan considers the problem settled.

Earlier this month the leaders of the 2 international locations briefly met at a summit in Bangkok, Thailand, to attempt to resolve the row.

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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe welcomed the “strategic resolution”

In August, South Korea introduced it could terminate the intelligence-sharing settlement after Japan eliminated South Korea’s favoured commerce associate standing and imposed export controls on its electronics sector.

However on Friday it mentioned it could “conditionally” droop the expiry.

Nationwide safety official Kim You-geun confirmed that the pact, often known as GSOMIA (Normal Safety of Army Info Settlement), wouldn’t be allowed to lapse at midnight.

He mentioned the Japanese authorities had “expressed their understanding” however warned that the settlement may nonetheless “be terminated at any time”.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned bilateral relations have been very important and that South Korea had made a “strategic resolution” in sticking with the accord.

A US State Division spokeswoman welcomed the choice, saying: “This resolution sends a constructive message that like-minded allies can work via bilateral disputes.”

What is the background?

The 2 international locations share a sophisticated historical past. They’ve fought on and off since no less than the seventh Century, and Japan has repeatedly tried to invade the peninsula since then.

In 1910, it annexed Korea, turning the territory right into a colony.

When World Warfare Two started, tens of hundreds of girls – some say as many as 200,000 – from throughout Asia have been despatched to navy brothels to service Japanese troopers.

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Media captionThe surviving consolation girls are actually of their late 80s and 90s, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reviews

Many of those victims, often known as “consolation girls”, have been Korean. Thousands and thousands of Korean males have been additionally forcibly enlisted as wartime labourers.

Japan’s rule of Korea resulted in 1945 when it was defeated within the battle.

In 1965, 20 years after Japan’s defeat, South Korean President Park Chung-hee agreed to normalise relations with the nation in trade for a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of in loans and grants.

The problem of “consolation girls” stays a delicate one. Tokyo argues that the 1965 treaty that restored diplomatic ties and offered greater than $800m in Japanese monetary assist, has settled the matter.

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Nonetheless, it stays removed from resolved.