U.S.-Japan Summit Focuses on North Korean Nuclear Issue
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held two days of summit talks from Tuesday.
Regarding negotiations on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, the two sides agreed not to repeat past mistakes and maintain maximum pressure on North Korea until it abandons its nuclear weapons.
The two leaders affirmed steadfast cooperation on the nuclear issue, which is seen as a result of Japan's efforts to eliminate any concern of Tokyo being sidelined on the issue amid a flurry of diplomatic talks taking place between the two Koreas and the U.S.
Regarding the proposed summit with North Korea, Trump said that he will not attend the meeting if he thinks it is not going to be fruitful. He said even at the summit, he will "respectfully leave" if he feels it won’t be productive.
Trump also promised Abe that Washington will work to resolve the issue of Japanese abductees in North Korea during summit talks with Pyongyang.
Coordination between the two allies on North Korea is vitally important to resolving the nuclear issue.
Even though the two Koreas and the U.S. are set to hold formal talks, to achieve the ultimate denuclearization goal requires cooperation from neighboring countries including Japan, China and Russia.
Peace on the Korean Peninsula can be achieved by drawing regional consensus and then global support.
In this light, back-to-back summit meetings among world leaders to be held around the time of the inter-Korean summit and the North Korea-U.S. summit will most likely go down as the biggest diplomatic event of the 21st century.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un already visited China and met with President Xi Jinping. There are also reports that Xi will soon visit Pyongyang as well as a possible summit between North Korea and Russia.
A three-way summit between the two Koreas and the U.S. is also being floated while talks between Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing are also being arranged for early May.
During talks with Abe, Trump vowed to do “everything possible” to make his summit with the North Korean leader a “worldwide success.” But he also warned that the meeting can be called off at any time.
The three other regional players - Japan, China and Russia - also appear to be jumping into the action on the Korean Peninsula.
This is because they do not want to be sidelined in the changes taking place or see their influence weaken in Northeast Asia. They also want to actively promote their own national interests in the process.
Japan has particularly felt a direct threat from North Korean missiles which explains Abe's visit to the U.S.