America and Japan to hold “Two Plus Two” talks aimed at strategies towards North Korea
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Political and military elites in North Korea continue to cold-shoulder the international community based on persistent missile tests and upping the ante in the realm of rhetoric. Initially, the new administration under President Donald Trump of America also engaged itself in warlike rhetoric but recently milder statements have been ushered by political elites in Washington. However, with the Korean Peninsula remaining volatile then America and Japan will discuss the crisis based on “two plus two” talks.
Significantly, it was believed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and Trump were going to press ahead with “two plus two” talks in early May. This was based on heightened tensions in response to rhetoric and military hawkish statements in both Washington and Pyongyang. Yet, in recent times, it appears that China and South Korea have both sought to calm the Korean Peninsula crisis. Hence, talks between America and Japan are new being scheduled for July this year.
Indeed, the recent electoral victory in South Korea of Moon Jae-in bodes well for the reduction of tensions because it is known that he favors political dialogue, providing North Korea is willing to take a more diplomatic stance. In other words, Moon is open to talks with North Korea providing this nation steps back from over focusing on the military angle.
Despite this, North Korea continues to create tensions because yet another missile was launched that antagonized Japan and South Korea respectively. CNN reports, “The short-range ballistic missile traveled an estimated 248 miles, splashing down within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, an area of sea where commercial ships are known to operate, according to statements from both the Japanese government and the South Korean military.”
South Korea responded by a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that stated, “It is a severe threat to the peace and stability of not only the Korean Peninsula, but also the international community… Since our new government took office, North Korea has been frequently and repeatedly conducting provocation in such manner. This is in direct opposition to our demands in regards to the denuclearization and peace of the Korean Peninsula.”
Turning back to the “two plus two” talks between America and Japan, the defense chiefs and foreign ministry heads of both nations will discuss the Korean Peninsula in great depth. Therefore, Fumio Kishida (Foreign Minister of Japan) and Tomomi Inada (Defense Minister of Japan) representing Japan will meet their American counterparts Rex Tillerson (United States Secretary of State) and Jim Mattis (Defense Secretary) in Washington.
America and Japan will obviously seek to increase joint strategies between both nations in response to the North Korean crisis. This will notably focus on weaknesses within the armed forces of Japan and how geopolitical factors can be utilized by America in the worse case scenario.
Not surprisingly, the Foreign Ministry of China issued a statement based on caution and the need to pull back. The Foreign Ministry said, “The situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive, and we hope all relevant sides maintain calm and exercise restraint, ease the tense situation as soon as possible and put the issue back onto the correct track of peaceful dialogue.”
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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