Wed 20 Sep 2023 10:25 am - Jerusalem Time
Japanese Prime Minister "determined" to meet North Korean leader
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed from the United Nations podium on Tuesday his "determination" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whose recent rapprochement with Russia has raised fears of military cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang.
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Kishida said, "Japan's policy toward North Korea has not changed. Japan wants to normalize its relations with North Korea."
He added, "With the aim of opening a new page together, I would like to express my determination to meet President Kim Jong-un face to face, at any time and without conditions."
The Japanese Prime Minister explained that he would seek to "organize high-level meetings" under his supervision in order for this summit to be held as quickly as possible.
A few days ago, a Japanese government spokesman announced that Kishida was ready to meet Kim “without preconditions.”
Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited North Korea twice, where he met the late leader Kim Jong-il, the father of the current leader.
His first visit to Pyongyang in 2002 led to the return of five Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea.
However, relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang soon deteriorated before worsening further after the nuclear test conducted by North Korea in 2006.