politics

Japan considers talks with N Korea, surprising allies

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But Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, warned North Korea might be trying to use talks with Japan to drive a wedge between the policies of Tokyo, Washington and Seoul.

So ... like...what? Has NOT talking to them done all that much good? I don't notice any change in North Korean, except maybe for more cool adjectives and nouns on their website - thrice cursed, military provocateurs, etc.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

But Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, warned North Korea might be trying to use talks with Japan to drive a wedge between the policies of Tokyo, Washington and Seoul.

If the US is all that worried about NK being able to drive a wedge between them what does that say about the strength of the alliance?

I'm sorry, but Japan's need to get this issue taken care of should be taking precedence and while maybe they could have consulted with Seoul and Washington, I for one give them credit for trying to move things along and at least talk about the issues.

You know, if things work out, Japan could use this to it's advantage and take more of a leadership roll in bringing these countries closer to some sort of peace.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This is a very smart ploy by North Korea. They lure Japan in with the promise of more information about their abducted citizens, which in turn will force Japan to adopt a more conciliatory position towards the North. The pressure being mounted by South Korea, China, the US is dispelled, the North might even get aid from Japan, and in the end, Japan will get nothing, only played by the North. How foolish can Abe be!

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Manifesto for July 2013 Upper House Election (?)

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The U.S. doesn't want Japan and North Korea to get along. It's bad for business. If everyone gets along who needs weapons?

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@MarkX: Abe is more concerned to bring back Japanese than flattering US ans So. Korea. which hate Japan, He is showing leadership now. Leadership of humanitarian, It is very important that other countries realize Japan is not just technocrat country but have heart on people. Maybe he will feed hungry N, Korean people after this?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

toshikoMay. 23, 2013 - 07:59AM JST

@MarkX: Abe is more concerned to bring back Japanese than flattering US ans So. Korea. which hate Japan, He is showing leadership now.

Leadership of what?

All his goals (Abenomics, acquiring the 4 southern Kurile islands, return of the long deceased abducted and punishment of their abductors) are unreal.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I hope that they can resolve this issue soon just so we don't have to hear about it in the news every week and let it be a form of leverage for politicians running for office claiming that they will resolve the issue.

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Haven't we been through this before?

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“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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jojon922

Exactly. It's amazing how "talking" can be such a bad thing. So many supposed developed countries seem to know nothing about human and countries' behaviour.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I doubt anything will get resolved from this, but if Japan can frame itself as an involuntary belligerent, hopefully NK's nukes will only hit SK instead of coming to Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Dog: 5 am comparing Abe and Obama. Abe will lead Obama who is not competent in handling N, Korea. Abe will be the leader of Obama and S. Korea.
-4 ( +2 / -6 )

So ... like...what? Has NOT talking to them done all that much good? I don't notice any change in North Korean, except maybe for more cool adjectives and nouns on their website - thrice cursed, military provocateurs, etc.

If Japan try to bargain with them to get back the people who were kidnapped, NK are going to ask for something in return. Which is what always happens. If you always do what you always do, you'll always get what you always get.

This is a perfect example of Japan, and Abe in particular, being selfish. Abe has said he want's to solve the kidnapping problem while he is in office. He want's results so he looks good. He's not concerned about the big picture.

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Seeing as how both Obama's and Bush's pledges to help Japan solve the abduction issue were as meaningless as all the other empty words coming from the US, it is quite obvious Japan has to act on its own.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Un wants a free pass to Disneyland.

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Probie

If Japan try to bargain with them to get back the people who were kidnapped, NK are going to ask for something in return.

Why does that disturb you? What's bad about that? Isolation clearly hasn't worked, and was never going to with an insular regime that cares not a job about it's people. The only way forward is communication, the spread of which could much more easily be used to spread dissent from within North Korea than by isolating them and giving them an easy out to use in propaganda against the west. If that doesn't work and NK is really such a threat by having nuclear missiles then there is no option but to go in like in Iraq.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In the abstract, it makes sense as a sort of "Nixon goes to China" kind of thing - nobody would ever accuse this administration of being too liberal. To expect that it will lead to any real breakthrough, though, is foolish.

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It's good that Japan's expressing a willingness to talk instead of just joining the US and other nations with threats of sanctions. However, I just can't see these potential talks as being fruitful in any way. If NK admits to further kidnappings and attempts to return them or find their remains progresses, what do you think the response will be in Japan? It'll be even worse than when Koizumi visited and got acknowledgement from NK about some of the abductions. I just don't see how any meeting between these two right-wing leaders would be productive.

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Nothing will come out of it. What's there to talk about?

JPN: Please tell us what happened to our citizens that you kidnapped? DPRK: You psychopathological renegade!

JPN: Please stop manufacturing and distributing methamphetamines into Japan? DPRK: You anti-socialist aggressor, such a provocation will be regarded as a declaration of war!

JPN: Please stop shooting missles? DPRK: You imperialist lackey, we will resolutely smash your desperate war moves!

JPN: Please stop exporting weapons and nuclear weapons technology? DPRK: You psychopathological bloodsucker, we will mercilessly crush you with the weapon of singlehearted unity!

(All insults courtesy of http://www.nk-news.net/extras/insult_generator.php)

It's a mob state that supports itself by selling drugs, counterfeit currency and weapon and extorting its neighbors. China is the only thing keeping the state from collapsing, mainly because China does not want a US military ally (or presence) next to its border. Understandable as a question of real politique but it also means millions starve and live a life of unbearable repression. It's a disgusting state of affairs. The sooner Korea is unified the better.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The enemy of your enemy is your friend. Just another way to P-off the South Koreans

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"It's good that Japan's expressing a willingness to talk instead of just joining the US and other nations with threats of sanctions."

Jeez, Smith, they've been talking for thirty years and gotten nowhere. Why will this time be different? Japan is acting like an abused woman who goes to her violent husband because, really, he really promised to stop hitting me!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why does that disturb you? What's bad about that?

Because NK are basically laughing at everyone who gives them aid. They give the food aid to their army. When they do give some to citizens, there is no mention of it coming from another country. They should be feeding their own people, instead of making missiles.

Isolation clearly hasn't worked, and was never going to with an insular regime that cares not a job about it's people.

Because we haven't isolated them! There is always some dumb country that gives them aid.

The only way forward is communication,

No. We should invade and topple the regime.

the spread of which could much more easily be used to spread dissent from within North Korea than by isolating them and giving them an easy out to use in propaganda against the west.

How will communicating with NK spread dissent? The only people you communicate with are those at the top, and they aren't going to spread dissent.

If that doesn't work and NK is really such a threat by having nuclear missiles then there is no option but to go in like in Iraq.

Yes. In Iraq there were no WMD, while NK literally parade theirs in the street and nothing is done despite NK being a lot more dangerous than Iraq.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This could be both good and bad, It may be all they will give in turn is a few body bags plus the next team of people Japan sends to negotiate will be held for ransom. You can never trust fat boy will do as he is too unstable better to trust your protectors or go alone and Save America a lot of money giving you protection by maintaining bases in your country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probie

Yes, I basically agree, but communicating would be a lot more potentially useful than nothing at all. It doesn't matter if anyone gives them aid or not, they'll get supplies somehow from somewhere and feed their army and claim whatever they do to ordinary citizens, but at least if there was political communication more and more channels could be opened for subversion. The more and more communication there is the harder it is to keep things out, e.g having more westerners working in the country would show ordinary people that westerners are not the infidel and if that message spread and spread it would be harder for the regime to keep lying.

Like we've said, If the US is really serious about NK being such a threat I don't see why they don't just invade now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, I basically agree, but communicating would be a lot more potentially useful than nothing at all. It doesn't matter if anyone gives them aid or not, they'll get supplies somehow from somewhere and feed their army and claim whatever they do to ordinary citizens,

They'd find it very difficult to get supplies if they're isolated and given ZERO air from other countries.

but at least if there was political communication more and more channels could be opened for subversion.

I'll say it again, the only people you communicate with are those at the top, and they aren't going to spread dissent. Why should they plot subversion if they're living a good life? I get what you're saying, but you're not going to do that in NK, a country who raves on about how amazing the Kim family are. You convince some dude to stage a coup, but next to nobody will listen to them because the army is made up of thousands of guys who have been brainwashed since birth. I doubt it would work. I'm sure it's been tried, and the people who tried it are dead now, along with their whole family, as a warning to others.

The more and more communication there is the harder it is to keep things out, e.g having more westerners working in the country would show ordinary people that westerners are not the infidel and if that message spread and spread it would be harder for the regime to keep lying.

That isn't going to happen. Any westerners who are in there, are monitored 24/7. That won't change. They (those in power) don't want westerners there, and no amount of dialogue is going to change that.

Like we've said, If the US is really serious about NK being such a threat I don't see why they don't just invade now.

They won't invade now, because China doesn't want them to. They don't want a unified Korea because that would threaten their own regime. If the US can persuade China not to back NK in event of a war, and promise to leave after x amount of months after the war (the Chinese wouldn't want US troops on the peninsula if it was unified), and that trade between the US, and the new Korea, would be vastly better with NK gone, then maybe we'll see an invasion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has to unilaterally try to resolve this issue. The allies haven't made much of an effort to.

Stopping the nuclear threat has been priority number one and adding a subsidiary issue that N. Korea doesn't want to cooperate on isn't what the allies want to do.

Abe's right to try to get this done now and to separate it from the nuclear issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It reminds me of the movie "Sleeping with the enemy"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe wants to create the image he is going to resolve the long standing issue once and for all. I doubt he really believes he can. The North Koreans are never going to admit there are any more cases than they have admitted to previously. They would lose too much face. Opening a line of communication with NK in itself is a good thing. Isolating this nation completely can't be right. But it seems unlikely that concrete results satisfying the families who lost their children, and the public in Japan will be forthcoming.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What is wrong with talking? Nothing when you are dealing with a party that is interested in a mutually agreed settlement that satisfies both parties core interests, and long-term relations. That is called negotiation. The North wants none of those things. It wants to weaken the resolve of the tri-lateral (U.S., South Korea, Japan), pocket some concessions, and then go back to it's default tension-rasing behavior. That is why talking on this issue is bad.

We know who did this. We know they lied even after 2002. We have no basis to believe that the North will agree to release other living abductees. So, why is Japan talking?

I do understand the emotional tug of bringing home the abductees living and dead, but this is where macro-vision is needed. Which is more important, a single-digit number of persons who may or may not be alive, or the 127,000,000 Japanese citizens that would be in mortal peril should the North develop a reliable nuclear delivery vehicle?

Also, way to go Abe for taking your security guarantor and throwing them under the bus. The U.S. has gone to bat for you over the Senkaku's and this is how you act? Perhaps we should remember that when the Chinese start sending PLA naval vessles (not the coast guard or fisheries ministry) into Japan's territorial waters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talking to North is good idea but there is nothing to talk about until North stop threatening its neighbors with nuclear and/ or military conflict

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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