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S. Korea intel pact decision 'extremely regrettable': Japan official

The national flags of Japan and South Korea are pictured in this file photo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- South Korea's decision Thursday to scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan is "extremely regrettable," a Japanese government source said.

The South Korean government said it will terminate the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, as Japan's recent tightening of export controls on some chemical products crucial to the South Korean technology industry has changed the security situation.

A different senior official with the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Tokyo will lodge a protest later Thursday at the earliest with Seoul over the decision.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has said after a meeting earlier in the week with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha that the agreement is an important component of their security cooperation and should be maintained.

South Korea's plan to end the pact signed in November 2016 adds to growing concern that the deepening row between the two key U.S. allies in Asia will threaten cooperation over regional security issues such as threats from North Korea, which has carried out a flurry of short-range ballistic missile tests in recent weeks.

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