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Japan’s distress over the rapid progress in U.S.-North Korean talks for normalization of relations is palpable. The government as well as the mainstream media seem united in hopes that Washington will delay normalization until North Korea meets Japan’s demands over the abductee issue — the return of a claimed 12 abducted Japanese additional to the five returned in 2002, and said to be still alive in North Korea.

Few seem to want to realize one reason why the United States is now so seemingly willing to ease its formerly hostile attitude to North Korea: that Washington is finally discovering that Pyongyang is still quite willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions once the U.S. begins to stick to its long-forgotten 1994 promises to normalize relations and assist North Korea’s energy requirements.

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