• Kyodo


Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi won support Monday from the leaders of China, Russia and South Korea for Japan’s efforts to resolve North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals.

In bilateral talks in Bangkok, Koizumi asked for their cooperation in helping Japan resolve the abduction issue along with the international issues of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.

Koizumi told reporters following successive meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao and South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun that he confirmed their intention to cooperate in seeking a peaceful solution to the nuclear and abduction issues.

The prime minister said they also agreed to think of a good way to provide the North with a written security guarantee through talks under the six-nation framework involving North and South Korea, the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

“It is unthinkable that the U.S. will conclude a nonaggression treaty with North Korea,” Koizumi said. “But the U.S. will not invade North Korea and what is at issue is how to express this in response to North Korea’s security concerns.”

North Korea has demanded a bilateral nonaggression pact with the U.S., but Washington has flatly rejected this and instead wants to provide a multilateral written assurance involving the six-nation framework for discussing the nuclear question.

Koizumi reconfirmed with Putin, Hu and Roh that they remain unchanged in their resolve to keep the six-party talks going, even though there have been difficulties in arranging a second round following the Beijing meeting in late August.

On the abduction issue, Hu told Koizumi he “can understand the feelings” of the Japanese abductees and their families, and hopes the issue can be resolved through talks between Japan and North Korea, according to the officials.

Roh, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of resolving the abductions along with the nuclear issue, they said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.