Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono delivered a speech at the 10th “Kojunsha Open Forum” held at the Sankei Plaza in Tokyo’s Otemachi district on June 10. With regards to North Korea, he noted that “Japan will have to discuss the abduction issue with North Korea once the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of the Korean Pennisula takes shape” and indicted a willingness to hold dialogue with the North on the premise of CVID.
Kono explained that Japan has tried to approach North Kore through embassy channels and at international conferences. “They (North Korea) are informed through various channels that Japan is prepared to offer considerable amounts of economic aid if the issues of nuclear and missile development and abductions are resolved and diplomatic ties are normalized,” he said. He also noted that “If they are willing to do so, we will enhance our contact little by little.”
Meanwhile, Kono reiterated that the international community plans to continue imposing sanctions until CVID is achieved. “Some people say that the international approach is shifted to dialogue from pressure, but our stance remains the same,” he stressed. He also revealed that when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 6, they spent more than half of the meeting time to discuss how to prevent North Korea’s illicit activities, such as ship-to-ship transfers of goods and theft of virtual currency via cyberattacks.