As Japan PM Seeks North Korea Summit, Foes Warn South Korea Ties Could Be Harmed

North Korea had previously dismissed the idea of a Japan summit

Kim Jong Un has, in the last 18 months, met with the leaders of the US, Russia, China, and South Korea. The only substantial neighbor left out is Japan, and Premier Abe Shinzo seems to be hoping that he can get one too, offering an unconditional summit with Kim.

The offer is in keeping with Japan wanting to remain in the conversation in the region, but Abe’s critics are hitting him hard over the offer, saying he is risking ties with South Korea and acts more willing to talk to Kim than South Korea’s President Moon.

It’s not at all clear that this is a one or the other case, and South Korea has welcomed other nations talking with North Korea as part of an effort to foster peace. Japan’s tensions with South Korea appear to be distinct, and centered on World War II.

That might also be an obstacle for the North Korea talks though. Long before Abe offered a summit, North Korea had issued a statement criticizing Japan’s recent rearmament, and saying they would not be interested in holding talks with them, a statement which also heavily cited Japan’s occupation of Korea during the war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of