N. Korea says it will refuse engagement with Japan, spurning talks of summit

Posted on : 2024-03-27 17:08 KST Modified on : 2024-03-27 17:11 KST
The issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by the North was a nonstarter for Pyongyang, but a must for Tokyo
Kim Yo-jong, a high-ranking figure in the Workers’ Party of Korea. (KCNA/Yonhap file photo)
Kim Yo-jong, a high-ranking figure in the Workers’ Party of Korea. (KCNA/Yonhap file photo)

North Korea announced that it will “pay no attention to and reject” any and all contact or negotiations with Japan. 

“The DPRK side will pay no attention to and reject any contact and negotiations with the Japanese side,” read a press statement from Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who serves in a high-ranking role in the North’s ruling party. 

The Japanese government’s continued emphasis on the resolution of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea seems to have played a role in North Korea’s pronouncement.
“Through a press conference of the chief Cabinet secretary on Monday afternoon, the Japanese side clarified the stand that it can never accept the fact that the abduction issue was settled,” Kim’s statement read. 

“Letting out the expression of the pending nuclear and missile issue which has nothing to do with it, it tried to interfere in and take issue with the exercise of sovereignty belonging to the DPRK's legitimate self-defense,” she went on.
She ended the statement by saying, “The DPRK-Japan summit is not a matter of concern to the DPRK.”
Kim seemed to hint at the possibility of a North Korea-Japan summit in a press statement released on Monday, when she said that Kishida, “through another channel, conveyed his intention to personally meet the President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as soon as possible.” Yet only one day later, the door to dialogue was abruptly shut.
On Monday, Kishida stated in a parliamentary meeting that resolving the issue of abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea was its priority. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi also stated that North Korea’s claims that the abduction issue was settled is “totally unacceptable.”

By Shin Hyeong-cheol, staff reporter

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