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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Japan Skeptical of North Korea’s Willingness to Hold Dialogue

TOKYO – Japan’s government expressed on Wednesday its skepticism about North Korea’s willingness to dialogue and the denuclearization of the country, and opted to maintain the strategy of “maximum pressure” on the neighboring country.

The Japanese government spokesperson, Yoshihide Suga, said during a press briefing that there has already been dialogue with North Korea in the past, but it did not lead to the denuclearization of the country, and Japan was going to assess the situation based on past experience.

Dialogue for dialogue does not make sense, it is extremely important that North Korea show concrete actions to stop developing nuclear weapons and missiles, he added.

Tokyo will continue to work with the United States, South Korea and other countries involved until North Korea abandons its weapons programs, according to Suga.

The Japanese Minister of Defense, Itsunori Onodera, also stressed in statements to the media on Wednesday, the need to analyze the intentions of North Korea with caution, and said that Japan would keep its surveillance system active against possible North Korean missile launches.

Pyongyang has expressed its willingness to hold dialogue with the United States and offered to abandon its nuclear arsenal if the survival of its regime is guaranteed, as well as to stop its nuclear weapons tests in case the communication channel is opened, according to the South Korean high-level delegation to the North on Tuesday.

The South Korean delegation carried this message from the neighboring country after its two-day visit and meeting with the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Seoul envoys are scheduled to visit the United States on Thursday to report the outcome of the meetings and to share an “additional” message that has not been made public, said the head of the South Korean presidential office, Chung Eui-yong.

However, US President Donald Trump reacted with both caution and optimism to the announcement saying he believes that North Korea is being sincere in its efforts to hold dialogue.

The historic trip of the South Korean high-level delegation also ended with the convocation of a summit of leaders of the two Koreas scheduled for late April – the third in history – and the opening of a direct line of communication between South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un aimed at easing the tension on the Korean peninsula.

 

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