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Japan faces “dilemma” over DPRK diplomacy

Kyodo claimed on Thursday that according to diplomatic sources involved in bilateral relations, although the USG has tentatively concluded that one of the projectiles that North Korea launched on May 4 was a new type of short-range ballistic missile, it is refraining from identifying it as such in public due to concern that doing so could jeopardize President Trump’s efforts to reach a denuclearization deal. The sources reportedly told the wire service that the U.S. side has allegedly informed the GOJ that it will not make its findings public and instead continue to state publicly that it is analyzing the situation. Kyodo conjectured that the Abe administration is perplexed by this U.S. approach because Tokyo has insisted that North Korea’s testing of any type of ballistic missile, regardless of range, would constitute a violation of relevant UN resolutions. A GOJ source reportedly said: “We want to declare it a ballistic missile, but we shouldn’t throw cold water on the U.S.-DPRK dialogue. We are on the horns of a dilemma.” As Prime Minister Abe has just decided to ease Japan’s hard line toward the DPRK by seeking a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un “without preconditions,” the article speculated that Tokyo probably will not be able to shift back to the pressure approach right away despite Pyongyang’s apparent moves to resume provocations.    


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