Japan asks S. Korea to raise abduction issue at North-South summit

13 April, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Hope Soto
  • A shopper picks up a pack of U.S. beef at a wholesale store in Seoul

South Korea's national security adviser has flown to Washington to meet his newly appointed U.S. counterpart John Bolton, an official said on Thursday (Apr 12) in Seoul, where concerns are growing over the American's hardline stance on the nuclear-armed North.

Kono, who is on a two-day visit to the capital, is expected to reiterate the appeal in an afternoon meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In, who plans to hold a summit on April 27 with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"In that vein, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is mustering a lot of efforts to maintain close communication and to strengthen cooperation with the USA through various diplomatic channels of different levels ahead of the two summits, including the South Korean Embassy in the US", the spokesman noted.

However, according to a South Korean Foreign Ministry source, Kang did not take a stance of going along with Japan's call for maximum pressure.

On Monday, Trump said, "I think there'll be great respect paid by both parties, and hopefully we'll be able to make a deal on the de-nuking of North Korea". She emphasized the importance of maintaining the "momentum for dialogue as North Korea has declared it will not conduct any provocations while talks are ongoing".

South Korea and Japan have also locked horns over Seoul-controlled islets in the sea between the two countries called Dokdo in the South and Takeshima in Japan. "And in my conversations with North Koreans over the years, it is clear that the United States has to take a number of steps first, such as ending the alliance with South Korea, removing all of its military troops off the Korean Peninsula".

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"Bolton does not even mention the possibility of a peace treaty with Pyongyang" which is sought by the South, said Professor Koo Kab Woo at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

The festival is held in Pyongyang as part of the commemorations for the anniversary of the birth of the North's founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, 1912.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrives at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on Tuesday.

Kono had a dinner meeting hosted by Kang, where they continued conversing about various issues including North Korea. It was the first visit by Japan's top diplomat since the two countries signed a deal on Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women at front-line brothels in December 2015.

"If the South Korean president could get more specifics as to how the North Koreans are looking at this question, that will help the United States set up the summit".

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