politics

Abe dangles financial aid in return for N Korea concessions

12 Comments
By Maria Panina and Germain Moyon

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday said he was ready to provide financial aid to Pyongyang on condition that it resolves the issues of its nuclear and missile test and abducted Japanese nationals.

"If we resolve as a whole the questions of abductions of Japanese citizens (and) the missile and nuclear problem, we manage to draw a line under the unhappy past and normalise diplomatic relations, then we can provide it (North Korea) with economic aid," Abe said in translated comments to journalists after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

Japan, which has remained on the sidelines during a recent flurry of diplomatic activity over North Korea, sees it as particularly important to discuss with Pyongyang the scores of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the isolated state in the 1970s and 1980s to help train its spies.

In a televised interview in June, Abe expressed a readiness to finance denuclearization costs in North Korea.

He called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to help overcome their mutual distrust, as he confirmed efforts were ongoing to arrange a Japan-North Korea summit, which has not materialised.

Japan takes a harsh stance towards Pyongyang, which has sent numerous missile tests in the direction of its territory.

Japan's defense ministry in a report last month said North Korea still poses a "serious and imminent threat" despite a diplomatic détente earlier this year.

Nuclear-armed North Korea will be among the issues topping the agenda as Russia's Vladimir Putin holds meetings with Asian leaders in Vladivostok this week on the sidelines of an economic forum.

Putin is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday and South Korea's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon on Wednesday.

In recent months Putin has kept his distance from the dramatic rapprochement between Trump and Kim Jong Un that culminated in a historic summit on June 12, which has however struggled to translate into concrete progress on the promised denuclearisation.

Putin has invited the North Korean leader to make his first ever visit to Russia, but Kim has never responded. A North Korean delegation headed by minister of External Economic Relations Kim Yong Jae on Monday headed to Vladivostok to take part in the forum.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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We have a 200% debt to GDP ratio. Abe is considering cutting medical and retirement benefits etc. And yet, he wants to throw money at North Korea.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Flip flopper! What happened to MAXIMUM PRESSURE!?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Must be time for Megumis parents to be rolled out again. As the Shogun says, the people believe why on earth is beyond me. So far his high point internationally has been dressing as Mario and eating a hamburger at an exclusive golf resort. He can dangle all he wants but once again be left dangling.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mr. Abe, always dangling something in front of NK and Russia. So funny.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

NK problem has to be resolved based on mutual respects, and mutual trusts, no other ways. Recommend Abe to reduce rhetoric statements and preconditions for talks and deals.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

so arrogant - "If we resolve as a whole the questions of abductions of Japanese citizens (and) the missile and nuclear problem, we manage to draw a line under the unhappy past and normalise diplomatic relations, then we can provide it (North Korea) with economic aid," Abe said in translated comments to journalists after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe is a sell out! Why do we need to give money to this terrorist? Threatening us with nukes!??

What short memory you have!

Supposedly NK has billions worth of untapped minerals, hence the carrot and stick approach

2 ( +2 / -0 )

what a dork. he thinks brown envelopes can influence a whole nation suffering from oppression for 70 years? they don't need bribes. just lift the sanctions and I'm sure they can provide for themselves.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forget wasting more tax funding and interest money on a swamp, instead invest it back on the people of Japan...rather than cutting benefits that so many have earned, use towards that instead...I wonder what percent of the Japanese tax payers out there including foreigners paying taxes in Japan would like to see it vested in their future vs a country that would only spend it in weapons research to further their own agenda and nothing for Japan. If Abe wants to lose an election, well this topic is one that will end his reign.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kenji Fujimori,

If you have a longer memory, you might recall that givng aid to North Korea was originally what Koizumi planned to do in the early 2000s. If I remember right, certain right-wing nationalists now in positions of power threw a hissy fit at the idea of giving aid to North Korea because of their heinous crimes against Japanese citizens, so the plan was abandoned.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2003/09/06/national/koizumi-hit-over-wishy-washy-north-korea-policy/#.W5hwvOgzaUk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I doubt NK would ever give Abe what he wants. I don't see a flip or a flop, I see 'lil Kim calling Trump up again looking for another "summit" because he's not getting what he wants.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Excellent news. Japan and the New North Korea CAN be great economic partners, IF abducted situation is finally resolved. PM Abe has realized this.

Summit between USA and NK was a big success, and there is no reason Japan and new NK can't do the same. Big market in NK, and big potential for Japanese companies to start factories, as well as direct Japanese government investment in projects. Win-win.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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