Some even declared it the beginning of the end of the US-South Korean alliance. This overreaction says much about the true role of the US in East Asia and where South Korea stands within the American sphere of influence.
The axing of the intelligence pact – signed in 2016 by disgraced former president Park Geun-hye – is the ultimate conclusion of an unjust trade war started by Japan. It marks a significant turning point in the post-World War II Japanese-South Korean relationship established by the 1965 Normalization Treaty. Tim Shorrock detailed in his most recent piece at The Nation that US pressure played a major role in the South Korean government agreeing to the 1965 treaty in the first place. Though the financial package provided through this agreement was a boon to industrial development, no compensation was given to individual South Korean victims of Japanese colonialism and Japan was never forced to sincerely come to terms with the underlying crimes of their imperial era.