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Thursday, April 11, 2024

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    Speaking with Japan, North Korea has no interest, according to the sister of leader Kim Jong-un.

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    North Korea on Tuesday said it will never have “any contact or negotiations” with Japan again after Tokyo turned down Pyongyang’s demand to settle a long-standing abduction issue.

    Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of the nation’s leader Kim Jong-un, accused Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of manipulating bilateral ties for “political calculations” in a statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

    “This is proven by the attitude of Japan clinging to the unattainable issues which can never be settled and have nothing to be settled,” Kim stated.

    “No courage to change history, promote regional peace and stability and take the first step for the fresh DPRK-Japan relations,” she continued, using the abbreviation for Pyongyang’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refer to Japan.

    Kim, the vice department director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, made the comments the day after Kishida allegedly stated that he would be open to having a summit with her brother.

    She cited remarks made on Monday by the chief spokesman for the Japanese government, who stated that Tokyo would not recognize North Korea’s claim that the matter of Japanese nationals kidnapped by Pyongyang during the 1970s and 1980s had been settled.

    “It was the Japanese side that knocked at the door first requesting ‘the Japan-DPRK summit without preconditions,’ and the DPRK only clarified its stance that it would welcome Japan if it is ready to make a new start, not being obsessed with the past,” she stated.

    Although Kishida did not immediately address Kim’s remarks, he did tell reporters late on Tuesday that Japan would keep working to resolve its differences with Pyongyang in accordance with “existing policies.”

    In 2002, North Korea acknowledged that during the 1970s and 1980s, it had dispatched operatives to kidnap thirteen Japanese individuals and force them to serve as spies by teaching them the language and traditions of Japan.

    This is still a significant problem in Japan today.

    In 2002, Kim Jong-il’s father, Junichiro Koizumi, made a historic trip to Pyongyang as the former prime minister of Japan.

    Five Japanese nationals returned as a result of his visit, and Koizumi made a follow-up trip. However, Tokyo’s accusation that Pyongyang was withholding information concerning the victims of the kidnapping caused the diplomatic efforts to collapse shortly after.

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