Japan aims to have the Group of Eight leaders issue a clear and strong message condemning North Korea’s recent missile launches, nuclear arms program and abduction of foreign nationals at the three-day summit starting Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka said Monday.
Mitoji Yabunaka KYODO PHOTO
“Japan attaches utmost importance to the North Korean issues and anticipates that the chair’s summary will reflect these matters,” Yabunaka said in an interview. After Pyongyang test-fired seven ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan last Wednesday, Japan launched a diplomatic drive with other countries to impose sanctions against the North. A group of countries led by Japan and the United States will seek a resolution calling for sanctions against North Korea. This was to be put to a vote at the U.N. Security Council on Monday afternoon, a U.N. diplomatic source said Sunday. “Developments at the United Nations will be linked to the G8 meeting. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will naturally touch on issues regarding North Korea at the G8 summit,” Yabunaka said. “The important thing is whether the international community can send a strong message, no matter what type of – statement it is included in.”
Russia, the chair for this G8 summit, maintains friendly ties with North Korea and appears reluctant to support sanctions against Pyongyang, but Yabunaka said Japan has been “in close contact with Russian officials at various levels” so the issue will be addressed at the talks.
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