North Korean ruling party newspaper rips Japan as ‘desperate’ amid detente, urges end to ‘hostile policy’

by Jesse Johnson

Staff Writer

North Korea’s ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, has lashed out at attempts by Tokyo to urge Washington to address its nuclear and missile programs at a planned U.S.-North Korea summit, calling the moves “desperate efforts” by a “trouble-maker creating only complexities” on Wednesday.

Amid fears of being left in the lurch on key issues that affect Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has worked to secure promises from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will push North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up not only its longer-range ballistic missiles, but also its short- and midrange weapons capable of striking the country.

He has also secured a promise from Trump that he will speak to Kim about the Japanese who were abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s.

But concerns continue to roil Tokyo that the mercurial American president might strike a deal that merely eliminates the North Korean threat to the United States.

The Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary Wednesday that Japan’s “desperate efforts to escape from its situation (were) getting deplorable day by day.”

It went on: “There is a way for it to evade the fate of being left out alone in the region,” it said. “It is to give up its hostile policy towards the DPRK.”

Abe said Monday that he will make sure Trump “directly” fills him in on the outcome of the summit with Kim, apparently underscoring Tokyo’s latest effort to avoid being alienated.

His remarks came a day after Japanese media reported the government has been requesting Trump stop over in Japan to brief Abe after the summit.

“After the U.S.-North Korea meeting is over, I would like to directly receive feedback from President Trump on how it went,” Abe told the Lower House Budget Committee without elaborating.

The Trump-Kim meeting is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Japan has spent the past few months carefully weighing whether it should embark on its own meeting with Kim, a diplomatic move that could backfire on Abe should he fail to win key concessions from Kim.