North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un visited Beijing unexpectedly on March 26, and had a summit meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. Kim Jong-un’s secret visit to Beijing surprised people in the world. I was knocked down by Kim Jong-un’s secret actions, and I was deeply depressed. At that time, on March 27, the scandal of the so-called ‘Moritomo School Incident’, in which a high-ranking government official was under suspicion for his involvement, was broadcasted on TV, attracting many people’s attention in Japan.
In my articles dated September 1 and 11, 2017, I stressed the importance of the dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea, and also insisted that Japan should urge the U.S. to have the dialogue with North Korea. Since then, I have been appealing to public opinion to realize it. Until recently, North Korea was confronting the U.S., developing the nuclear weapons and launching missiles repeatedly, and it resulted in the expansion of North Korea’s threatening the world peace. In response, the UN Security Council and major countries implemented severe economic sanctions against North Korea. Japan was also one of those leading countries.
In my opinion, security and military issues in East Asia will always be influenced by China’s policies, and therefore, China’s arbitrary expansionism should be controlled by all means. Strategically, it would have been useful for the U.S. to establish its involvement in, or commitment to the North Korean issue taking an initiative in improving its relationship with North Korea urgently when North Korea’s relationship with China was getting worse. In fact, when North Korea was deemed to be isolated from China in 2017, it was the proper timing for the U.S. to have a dialogue with North Korea. Even if the U.S. had compromised with North Korea regarding North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons to some extent, North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons could have been controlled by the inspection to be arranged by the U.S. in cooperation with Japan.
The main reason why we lost the timing to urge the U.S. to have a dialogue with North Korea last year was our excessive adhering to the principle of the denuclearization of North Korea. President of South Korea Moon Jae-in announced the summit meeting between North and South Korea on January 9, this year, prior to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. This announcement was criticized by many people in the U.S. and Japan for the reason that such summit meeting would disturb not only the democratic relationship between the U.S. and South Korea but also the relationship among South Korea, Japan and the U.S. and separate them from each other. I rather praised President Moon Jae-in. In fact, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Beijing was significant, and the preparation for the North and South Korean summit meeting and the summit meeting between the U.S. and North Korea have been progressing rapidly. We have to admit President Moon Jae-in’s decision and courage. On the other hand, Japan might be criticized by some people saying, “The Japanese diplomacy on the North Korean issue has now lagged behind the other concerned countries’ schedule,” and “Now, Japan has been excluded from the concerned countries’ negotiations on the North Korean issue.” I am afraid that in the future, people in Japan will realize how important it was to seize this opportunity.
The U.S. and Japan have taken severe economic sanctions against North Korea, and to ask China to cooperate with them, they have dispatched political leaders and government high officials to China. However, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s summit meeting with Xi Jinping has proved that China does not take any economic sanctions against North Korea, like Russia, as I have been insisting consistently. Probably, President Trump and Prime Minister Abe have noticed that the relationship between North Korea and China is like a relative by blood.
Lastly, even if I express my opinion as a member of the Japanese Diet, it will not necessarily be reflected in the Japanese diplomacy. Nevertheless, I have to speak up because I am devoting my body and soul to the country of Japan.