The latest meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump was a sobering moment for Japan in many ways. In particular, last week’s summit has made one thing stunningly clear: It is not in a position to play a major role as the future of the Korean Peninsula is being determined by the United States, China and the two Koreas.

The developments since the stunning announcement on March 8 about the planned summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — Kim’s surprise trip to Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping; U.S. Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang for direct talks with Kim; and North Korea’s announcement of its intention to suspend nuclear and missile tests as well as shutting down its nuclear facility — strongly suggest that the discussion both in the upcoming summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday and the Trump-Kim summit will likely take place with an eye toward formally ending the Korean War when North Korea’s denuclearization is complete.

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