North Korea says Japan PM requested summit with Kim Jong Un

North Korea says Japan PM requested summit with Kim Jong Un

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister said on Monday ( Mar 25 ) that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has requested a summit with her brother, adding a meeting was unlikely without a policy shift by Tokyo.

Relations between the two countries are generally disturbed, including by a extended- running theft debate and North Korea’s banned arms programmes, but Kishida has lately expressed a desire to improve ties, which Pyongyang has hinted it is not opposed to.

Last month, Kishida said he was willing to meet Kim “without any parameters”, saying Tokyo was eager to solve all issues, including the violence by North Korean officials of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, which remains an expressive issue in Japan.

” Kishida… conveyed his intention to personally meet the President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as soon as possible”, Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Kim Yo Jong- who is one of the regime’s key spokespeople- had hinted last month at a possible future invitation for the Japanese leader to visit North Korea.

But she said the “history of the DPRK- Japan relations gives a lesson that it is impossible to improve the bilateral relations full of distrust and misunderstanding”, without a substantive policy change on Tokyo’s part.

She warned that were Japan to remain “engrossed in the abduction issue that has no further settlement” then Kishida’s hopes of improving ties would not materialise.

Kishida said Monday that he was not aware of the KCNA report, and did not directly comment on its contents, while calling top- level talks with North Korea “important”.

” For Japan- North Korea relations, top- level talks are important to resolve issues such as the abduction issue”, Kishida said in parliament, referring to kidnappings that took place in the 1970s and ‘ 80s.

” This is why we have been making various approaches to North Korea at the level directly under my control, as I have said in the past”.