August 22, 2019 / 1:19 PM / 2 months ago

Japan foreign minister says South Korea's move 'completely mistaken response'

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (C) listens during the meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at the Great Hall of the People (GHOP) in Beijing, China, 22 August 2019. How Hwee Young/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Thursday criticized South Korea for terminating an intelligence agreement between the two countries, calling it a “completely mistaken response” and extremely regrettable.

Seoul said it would scrap the intelligence-sharing pact, a decision that could escalate a dispute over history and trade and undercut security cooperation on North Korea. The decision comes as relations between the two neighbors are at their worst in decades.

With the decision not to extend the pact, the political and trade disputes between South Korea and Japan now extend into some of the most sensitive national security issues in the region.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Alison Williams

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