While Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed readiness to engage in high-level communication with North Korea, Japan must perform a careful balancing act to ensure its outreach to Pyongyang does not undermine its alliance with the United States and relations with South Korea.

Pyongyang has apparently not immediately declined Kishida's offer. However, some experts do not believe the two countries are making any significant progress behind the scenes, even warning that North Korea may try to leverage dialogue with Japan to create fissures in the trilateral alliance.

North Korea made a rare appearance on the diplomatic stage on Friday, with its envoy taking part in a ministerial meeting of an Asia-Pacific security forum in Jakarta, also attended by Japan. But as was widely predicted, no obvious contact was made between the two countries.