Words and Action Need to Be Discreet

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reportedly raised the abduction issue during the conversations he had with the leaders of other countries following his assumption of power.

The abduction issue was long resolved perfectly and completely with the visits to Pyongyang by the then Japanese Prime Minister in September 2002 and May 2004, and the subsequent sincerity and efforts from our side.

We have made this point seriously clear to be sufficiently enough for Japan to understand during all of the intergovernmental meetings and contacts held several times between the DPRK and Japan. Since the Prime Minister had worked as foreign minister for five years, he cannot be unaware of our principled stand on the issue of DPRK-Japan relations.

This being the case, we cannot but cast a doubt over his ulterior purpose as to what drives him to make a fuss, raising an already resolved issue immediately following his assumption of power as Prime Minister, and as to what he is really trying to get from the issue.

Explicitly stating once again, the key to the DPRK-Japan relations is thorough apology and reparation for the immeasurable human, material and mental loss inflicted upon our nation, including such gravest inhumane crimes as coercive abduction and drafting, forced sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army and the massacre, all of which having been committed against hundreds of thousands – nay, millions of Korean people.

It is most likely that the DPRK-Japan relations would be set gloomier if the Japanese Prime Minister makes a wrong start from the beginning, as it is doing now.

The Japanese Prime Minister would need to be discreet about his words and action with respect to the DPRK-Japan relations.

Ri Pyong Dok

Researcher of the Institute for Studies of Japan

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK

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