An official of the presidential office indicated Friday that South Korea may reconsider continuing a bilateral accord on sharing military intelligence with Japan that is coming up for renewal.
The official said that although nothing has been finalized about whether to continue the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, the government will carefully consider "all options."
The official also said Japan needs to think about how it can continue sharing sensitive military intelligence with South Korea if, as Tokyo claims, its trust in Seoul has been lost.
The remarks come amid calls in South Korea for the agreement to be axed as a countermeasure to Japan's decision Friday to revoke from later this month South Korea's preferential status as a trade partner for the purchase of goods that can be diverted for military use.
South Korea and Japan signed the pact in November 2016 in response to growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
The accord, which went into effect immediately, has since been renewed every year, but there are worries that it may not be renewed this time as ties between the key U.S. defense allies in Asia have sunk to their lowest level in years.
Japan has indicated its preference to continue the accord.
The arrangement can be terminated if either party notifies the other of its intention of canceling the accord at least 90 days before the end of each one-year period.