In a dramatic last-minute about-face, the South Korean presidential office announced Friday that it will reverse course on its earlier decision to end a key intelligence-sharing pact with Japan — just hours before the expected expiry of the deal.

The announcement by Seoul, which saved the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) — at least for now — came in the face of strong and persistent pressure from the United States to keep it alive.

Washington demanded that Seoul renew the pact, which is widely regarded as a symbol of the military cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the U.S. against North Korea.