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Japan Hesitant to Share North Korea Information with South Korea

Japan Hesitant to Share North Korea Information with South Korea

Posted May. 25, 2005 03:29,   


It was reported yesterday that Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi said to Korean ruling and opposition party representatives of the Defense Committee, “Japan is hesitant to share information and cooperate with South Korea because the United States does not seem to trust the country.”

Representatives who attended the meeting said that Vice Foreign Minister Yachi stated that “Japan and the U.S. are sharing a great deal of North Korea-related intelligence” when he met with Defense Committee chair Yoo Jay-kun, Uri Party representatives Cho Sung-tae, Kim Myung-ja, and GNP representatives Park Jin and Song Young-sun.

Voicing his personal opinion, Vice Minister Yachi allegedly said, “[In the six-party talks], the U.S. and Japan are on the right and China and North Korea are on the left while Korea seems to list towards the left from the center. In order to solve the nuclear problem, I believe that the Korea-U.S. alliance and Korea-U.S.-Japan tripartite relationship is very important.”

Controversy is expected to arise because Vice Minister Yachi, who is the core of North Korea policy in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, made clear that Japan is reluctant to share information with Korea due to the rift between Korea and the U.S. regarding the North Korean nuclear issue.

Chairman Yoo said, “At the meeting, I explained to Vice Minister Yachi that it was all a misunderstanding and that our diplomacy’s objectives are to strengthen the Korea-U.S. alliance and tripartite cooperation.”

It was reported that the five representatives in the Defense Committee who met with the Japanese vice foreign minister had an argument over whether to include his remarks in the report that they will submit to the National Assembly after returning to Korea.

GNP Representative Park Jin argued that they should include the content in the report and that it should be reported to President Roh Moo-hyun as well, while Chairman Yoo excluded it because he judged that Vice Minister Yachi’s remarks were not of much help.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Korean Foreign Ministry made a strong protest to the Japanese Foreign Ministry after learning of Vice Minister Yachi’s remarks.

A government authority stated, “It seems that Vice Minister Yachi, who seems to be holding a grudge in light of the recent condition of Korea-Japan relations, made unnecessary comments before the Korean opposition party representatives. Right after making his remark, [we] strongly protested to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.”

Visiting Japan for six days from May 6, Chairman Yoo met with high-ranking officials of the Japanese government and security-related representatives of Japan’s assembly, including Japanese Defense Minister Yoshinori Ohno.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com