Monday’s Sankei took up the Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula to be held on Tuesday, expressing concern that the participants may not be in sync on applying greater pressure on the DPRK since some of them are emphasizing the need for dialogue. The daily added that Japan is afraid that the conference will be swept up in a chorus of calls for dialogue from conference members such as Colombia and Sweden that do not have a direct stake in the Korean Peninsula situation. Today’s Asahi projected that Secretary of State Tillerson will probably ask the participants and the rest of the international community to strengthen naval inspections of ships suspected of carrying sanctioned items to the DPRK.
In a related story, Sunday’s Asahi wrote that North Korea and Sweden agreed last month to hold a meeting between their vice foreign ministers, speculating that since the Scandinavian country represents U.S. interests in dealing with North Korea, the accord can be construed as part of international efforts to build momentum for dialogue between Pyongyang and the international community.
Meanwhile, today’s Yomiuri wrote that arrangements are being made among the U.S., Japan, and South Korea to hold a foreign ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the Vancouver confab with the goal of affirming trilateral unity in dealing with what the paper characterizes as North Korea’s recent charm offensive. Asahi, Sankei, and Nikkei wrote that National Security Secretariat Secretary General Yachi and National Security Adviser McMaster met in San Francisco over the weekend to discuss the North Korea situation and agreed to apply maximum pressure on the defiant regime.