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[Editorial] Our Wishes for Upcoming Summit between North and Japan

[Editorial] Our Wishes for Upcoming Summit between North and Japan

Posted September. 16, 2002 22:45,   


Today it is scheduled that North Korean leader Kim Jung Il and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will meet for the summit in Pyongyang. In a nutshell, it’s a bilateral talk. But eventually, it will have grave impacts on the multilateral relations around the Korean Peninsula. Two countries will decide on matters concerning the kidnapping of Japanese, Japanese apology and compensation, North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction. The results on those issues that will come out of the meeting are sure to affect the attitude of the global community toward the North. It is reported that on Sep. 12, Prime Minister Koizumi met with US President George W. Bush to tune up their positions in the upcoming meeting. Only this incident is enough to demonstrate the meaning of the summit in the international context.

We, one of the direct parties to the matters involving the Korean Peninsula, are not in a position to do anything for the summit in its preparation and its birth, which conveys a great significance to us. It’s a real pity. It shows the limitation of our diplomatic maneuvering in the international community. It also demonstrates South and North are not the leading forces in matters that may determine our own future.

In any way, we are directly affected by what comes out of the summit. As a partner on the peninsula, we may request Japan for something. Above all, we sincerely wish that Japan would lead North into membership of the international community during the first meeting ever between them. As pointed out by foreign media like The New York Times, Koizumi should not consider this summit as a gambling of some sort. Issues like kidnapped Japanese, which are most interesting to the Japanese people, will surely dominate the summit. Nonetheless, Japan should try to actively engage in discussion with North about multilateral issues such as missiles, and nuclear weapons. By doing so, Japan will relieve the worries of the global community over North.

North, at the same time, should not attempt to take advantage of this summit as a kind of “surprise party.” If North has changed so dramatically as to push for normalization with Japan, toward which it has shown hostility for the part 50 years, it should prove this during this summit. That is the best way to be recognized in the world community. If it is proved that North has really changed, resumption of talks with US, which North has been longing for, will be a matter of time then.