Japan will help North Korea denuclearize

Shinzo Abe showed that Japan would help in shouldering the costs dismantling and disassembling North Korea’s nuclear weapons under a potential international framework for funding aimed at achieving the complete denuclearization of the North.


He said on a local television program that disarming North Korea was imperative after the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit earlier in the week that ended with confirmation that Pyongyang’s commitment to the denuclearization process was sincere.


photo credit to: https://asia.nikkei.com


Abe also expressed understanding for U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion, made after the summit, to suspend U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises in an apparent confidence-building move.


Mixed views on the result of the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, the international community is now looking at how their agreement would remove nuclear weapons from North Korea.


Abe said he sees an organization specifically for the denuclearization of the North as a way of moving forward on the issue. At the same time, he said this would not be tantamount to directly funding North Korea.


Trump has said after the summit that Japan and South Korea, both U.S. allies, will help with the denuclearization costs.


Under the Agreed Framework pact of 1994 which the United States and North Korea signed, Pyongyang was required to disassemble its nuclear facilities in exchange for being provided with two light-water reactors for power generation.


Toward that end, an international consortium known as the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, or KEDO, was formed the following year. Japan, one of the core members of KEDO, pledged $1 billion toward the $4.6 billion project.


Abe also said Japan will support costs related to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, should they happen. The IAEA inspectors were kicked out of North Korea in 2002.


Japan is trying to weigh how to shoulder the costs for North Korea’s denuclearization process while it puts pressure to Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese nationals.


Reference: Japan mulls role in int’l funding for North Korea’s denuclearization


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