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North Korea- Japan Clash at the U.N. Headquarters

Posted September. 25, 2003 23:21,   


North Korean and Japanese diplomats quarreled against each other during the U.N. general meeting on Wednesday.

On the afternoon of the day, one of the North Korean representatives raised his hand right after keynote speeches of each country and rebuke for the details of Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi`s speech that says `North Korea must resolve the Japanese abduction issue before discussing diplomatic normalization between North Korea and Japan.`

One North Koran diplomat argued, “The kidnapping issue has been already resolved.” “Japan is making the kidnapping issue, which is a humanitarian issue, a political agenda,” he argued. “Japan has been hostile toward North Korea for the past 100 years and they are the one who abducted and killed more of our people.”

As North Korean side finished speaking, then a Japanese diplomat raised his hand. The Japanese side rebuked that although the 5 abducted Japanese returned, it can not be said that the case is all resolved until all their families return to Japan. The Japanese side also mentioned at the end of the speaking that North Korea should make efforts for the diplomatic normalization.

The arguments of the both sides did not stop their. The North Korean diplomats raised their hands again and reiterated their stance. Then, the Japanese diplomats once again stood up and repeated their point.

One day prior to the U.N. general meeting yesterday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan requested Kawaguchi that “I understand Japan is in a difficult situation on issues with North Korea. But considering the fact that the U.N. is having difficulties to carry out humanitarian aids programs in North Korea, I hope Japan can financially assist North Korea.

On this, Kawaguchi did not answer straightforward, but he said “It is important for North Korea to understand that if it abandons its nuclear weapons programs, it can get much of financial benefits, such as food and energy.”

Representatives of U.N. member countries can raise their hand and ask for the floor at the U.N. general meeting. At the last year`s general meeting. Ethiopia and Eritrea which had had dispute took the floor reiterating the same point over and over five times each. This brought much of criticism on the two countries.

Kwan-Hee Hong konihong@donga.com