Sunday, October 26, 2008

Japan being squeezed out of leverage at North Korea talks

The five countries participating with North Korea in the six-party talks over its nuclear arms development agreed in February 2007 to provide energy assistance equal to 1 million tons of heavy oil. Japan had been asked to shoulder a share of about 200,000 tons.

The United States is now discussing the option of asking several countries, including Australia, to provide energy assistance to North Korea equivalent to the level of aid Japan has postponed, citing the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents not being resolved.

If Japan's share of the energy aid is provided by other countries, Japan will lose one of its important tools for pushing North Korea to resolve the abduction issue.

[Yomiuri Shimbun]

No comments: