Pulling out of the intelligence sharing agreement with Japan will only hurt Korea’s security.

On Thursday, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in administration decided not to extend an intelligence sharing agreement with Japan following escalating diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

Escalation is a legitimate tool of statecraft, but it pays to know who one’s true enemies really are. South Korea faces difficult and even existential challenges in a dangerous neighborhood. Japan is the least of Seoul’s problems and might even be the only genuinely benign nation for South Korea in Northeast Asia.

Non-resident senior fellow Dr John Lee writes for The Diplomat.