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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Experts discuss North Korea, President Trump’s upcoming visit to Japan

Five experts discussed the situation surrounding North Korea during NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show. The panelists included MIT senior fellow Yukio Okamoto, former Ambassador to China Yuji Miyamoto, senior research fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Tsuneo Watanabe, Nanzan University Professor Shunji Hiraiwa, and Waseda University Professor Chikako Ueki. Concerning North Korea’s “silence” since its launch of a Mars 12 ballistic missile on Sept. 15 following its repeated provocations since July, the discussants expressed the view that the Kim regime is gauging the response of the international community, especially the U.S. and China. The panelists also discussed the upcoming visit to Japan by President Trump. Watanabe said that President Trump and Prime Minister Abe will reaffirm the strong ties between the U.S. and Japan and that the President’s trip to Southeast Asia will be significant in sending a message to China on its activities in the South China Sea. Okamoto expressed a similar view, adding that it is important for the U.S. and Japan to confirm their strong alliance at a time when South Korea’s approach to North Korea is not perfectly in sync with that of Washington and Tokyo. The experts welcomed the President’s plan to meet with the families of the Japanese abductees in Tokyo. Hiraiwa and Watanabe said that the meeting will be a good opportunity to demonstrate to North Korea that the U.S. and Japan share the same concerns over the abductions and human rights violations by the DPRK. Okamoto pointed out that President Trump spoke in his address to the United Nations in September about the abduction of a 13-year-old Japanese girl, referring to Megumi Yokota 

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