Today: Thursday, 25 April 2024 year

Japan’s prime minister wants to meet Kim Jong Un to talk ‘frankly with an open mind’

Japan’s prime minister wants to meet Kim Jong Un to talk ‘frankly with an open mind’

Japanese prime minister believes that the meeting with Kim Jong Un will be fruitful and mutually advantageous, Al Jazeera reported. Shinzo Abe has offered to schedule a meeting in his effort to restore diplomatic ties between the two states.

Tokyo wants to improve the diplomatic climate between two historic foes, North Korea and Japan, confirmed Shinzo Abe during his recent interview with the Sankei Shimbun. Being asked on the perspective of possible cooperation, Mr Abe, in particular, said: “I want to meet Chairman Kim Jong Un unconditionally and talk with him frankly with an open mind.”

The Japanese prime minister said on Wednesday that improving ties between two historic rivals is more than important, so. Japan should be proactive in tackling the issue. “We can’t break the shell of mutual distrust between Japan and North Korea unless I directly face Kim,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has given no public indication of any willingness to meet Japan. Probably, the reason for such ignorance is an undiplomatic expression of a  member of Japan’s foreign ministry called North Korea the “unprecedentedly serious and imminent threat” earlier this year.

PM Abe in recent times has struck a more conciliatory tone, eyeing a “solution on North Korean matters” and urging for the restoring the diplomatic ties between two Asian states.

Tokyo has changed its tone regarding Pyongyang

“Japan-North Korea relations are in a stalemate,” a senior foreign ministry official in Tokyo said in January. Traditionally, Japan has been one of the most hawkish of the major powers on reclusive state North Korea and has been on the receiving end of some of Pyongyang’s harshest rhetoric – as well as missiles launched over its territory.

Until late 2017, North Korea repeatedly tested missiles that flew towards or over Japan, sparking warnings blared out on loudspeakers and stoking calls for a tough stance against Pyongyang.

However, Japan now finds itself battling to keep relevant in the fast-moving North Korea issue as Kim expands his diplomatic circle. According to a Japan Times report earlier this year, Tokyo has repeatedly said it is making “every effort” to contact North Korea through diplomatic channels, including through embassies in Beijing. But, the report added, there has been no response from Pyongyang.