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337 words - May 17, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
A US delegation led by Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies traveled to the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, and Japan. Mr. Davies' visit was punctuated with news media that reported Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could envisage to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if he thought it would help to, specifically on the issue of the Japanese abductees.
On May 15, Tokyo revealed through diplomatic channels that Mr. Abe's Cabinet Secretariat Advisor Isao Iijima recently visited Pyongyang without no prior notice to the participants in the six-party talks, including the United States, South Korea, China and Russia, as it used to be.
In a press briefing, the ROK government said it "deems it important for not only those three countries but also the rest of the international community to maintain close coordination on North Korea issues." As a result, South Korea says it considered the Japanese official's visit "unhelpful."
Mr. Davies said in remarks at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that though "we all have fundamental security interests in dealing with North Korea, (...) it is important, and I want to underscore this, that we stay connected very closely, all of us stay knitted up on the issue of how we approach North Korea."
The increase in tensions over maritime sovereignty could explain in part why Japan has chosen to play solo with North Korea over the last few days. The question of the Japanese abductees has always been a very controversial issue in Japan, where most of the people regularly question the patience of the Japanese government.
According to DiploNews, there are two main interpretations to Mr. Iijima's visit. Either he came to Pyongyang because the Japanese government thought there could be a window of opportunity regarding the abductees or his visit resulted from growing Japanese concerns that there is an absolute need of getting back in touch so that the current crisis with North Korea doesn't degenerate further.
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