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North Korea Says to Ignore Japan Until It Scraps Military Drills, Other Measures

Despite Kim's summits with the leaders of China, South Korea and the United States in a flurry of diplomatic activity over the past year, no date has been set for one with Japan.

Reuters

Updated:June 25, 2018, 2:53 PM IST
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North Korea Says to Ignore Japan Until It Scraps Military Drills, Other Measures
Image for Representation. (Reuters)
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Seoul:North Korea will continue to ignore Japan unless Tokyo halts hostilities against its neighbour, such as large-scale military drills and efforts to boost military readiness, the isolated nation's state media said on Monday.

Japan has been eyeing prospects for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to tackle the issue of Japanese citizens abducted decades ago by the North.

Despite Kim's summits with the leaders of China, South Korea and the United States in a flurry of diplomatic activity over the past year, no date has been set for one with Japan.

"If Japan does not correct its ambitions regarding peace and security, it should realise the end result where Japan is passed over will be inevitable," North Korea's state news agency said.

"Japan should stop its large-scale military drills and the boosting of its military capacity aimed at attacking (Korea), scrap its hostile policy against us, break with the past and show its sincerity towards peace," it said in a commentary.

In 2002, North Korea admitted that it kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s, and five returned home.

Abe, grappling with domestic scandals, has vowed not to rest until the others return as well, an issue he pressed US President Donald Trump to raise at his June 12 summit in Singapore with Kim.

The Korean Central News Agency made no mention of the abductees in its commentary, but scolded Abe's government for not having scrapped an evacuation drill for Japanese sooner.

Japan started civilian evacuation drills last year as North Korea test-fired numerous missiles near, and over, some Japanese islands. Last week, Tokyo said it would suspend the drills for the time being after the Singapore summit.

Abe has called the summit a first step towards denuclearisation, while his officials have remained firm that Japan and the United States need to maintain guard against North Korea until it makes concrete efforts towards that.


(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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