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Japan responds cautiously to results of inter-Korean summit

All papers except Nikkei reported that in response to latest inter-Korean summit, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga reportedly said at a press conference: “We respect the efforts made by the leaders of the two Koreas…. We hope that the meeting will lead to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It is important that the [June] agreement between the U.S. and the DPRK, including North Korea’s commitment to complete denuclearization, be fully and swiftly implemented.” The top government spokesperson added that the ROK government has briefed the GOJ on the details of the inter-Korean summit.

Yomiuri said that although the GOJ is hoping that the Pyongyang summit will lead to a breakthrough in denuclearization talks between the U.S. and the DPRK, some Abe administration officials remain skeptical of the Pyongyang Joint Declaration given that North Korea has previously moved forward with nuclear and missile development while holding dialogue with the international community. Prime Minister Abe plans to hold separate summits with President Trump and President Moon in New York later this month to confirm bilateral and trilateral coordination on North Korea. The daily added that Japanese officials are hoping that progress in U.S.-DPRK talks will renew the momentum for a meeting between Abe and Kim to resolve the abduction issue.

Asahi wrote that Japanese officials are concerned about possible disunity between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, given that inter-Korean reconciliation is progressing rapidly in the absence of progress on denuclearization.

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