Fearing complicating its position on the “kidnappers”… Japan is reluctant to accept a proposal to declare the Korean War over
Diplomatic sources say Japan has been reluctant to accept a proposal from South Korea to announce an official end to the Korean War as a way to lure North Korea back to negotiations on denuclearization.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday that Tokyo is concerned that such a preemptive, conciliatory move will complicate its position in resolving the issue of kidnappings “committed by North Korea against Japanese citizens.”
Japan fears that the issue will be affected by the negotiating process of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development programs, the sources said Saturday.
The Korean War of 1953-1950 was fought by the United Nations forces led by the United States alongside South Korea against its northern neighbor, which received support from China and the Soviet Union.
The United States and North Korea are still technically at war, as the war ended with a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty.
Japan expressed its concern last month when its top official in charge of North Korean affairs met his US and South Korean counterparts in Washington. The sources said that the United States did not clarify its position at the time.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced – in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly – last September that he would seek to declare an official end to the Korean War, and described China as a potential partner alongside the two Koreas and the United States, and did not mention Japan.
The sources said that South Korea’s special representative for peace and security affairs on the Korean Peninsula, Noh Kyo-duk, stressed at the senior officials’ meeting on October 19 the need to move forward with Moon’s proposal.
In response, the head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Asian Affairs, Takehiro Funakoshi, said it was “premature” to discuss the proposal, noting that North Korea has repeatedly conducted missile tests.