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Japan runs into difficulty resuming dialogue with North Korea 

Monday’s Mainichi published a prominent inside-page story on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the launch of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un regime on Dec. 30, saying that despite Prime Minister Kishida’s statement during his key policy speech at the Diet on Dec. 6 that he is willing to meet with the DPRK leader “face-to-face without any conditions,” the administration has apparently not been able to reopen communications with the reclusive state. “The back channels of communication between Tokyo and Pyongyang dried up under the Suga administration due in part to the coronavirus pandemic” said an unnamed GOJ source. “They are not functioning at all right now.” The paper said the Kim regime is apparently not interested in conducting diplomacy during the pandemic and instead is concentrating on nuclear and missile development, adding that this has apparently prompted Tokyo to look into the possibility of allowing the SDF to acquire capabilities to strike enemy bases.  

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