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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 September 27 - October 3  > Change gov’t in general election to solve N. Korea crisis through dialogue
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2017 September 27 - October 3 [POLITICS]

Change gov’t in general election to solve N. Korea crisis through dialogue

October 2, 2017

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo proclaims that in the coming general election, he wants to gain public understanding of his handling of North Korea’s nuclear and missile test program. In this regard, what Abe has basically done is to reject efforts for dialogue with Pyongyang.

PM Abe on September 20 delivered an address to the UN General Assembly. Abe in his address mostly focused on the North Korea crisis. Abe dismissed the possibility of diplomatic solutions, saying, “What is needed is not dialogue, but pressure.”

U.S. President Donald Trump in his address to the UN General Assembly (September 19) said, “[I]f it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” In response to the threat of war, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare comment, saying that the country will consider exercising a “highest level of hardline countermeasures in history”. DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho mentioned the possibility of a hydrogen bomb test to be conducted in the Pacific Ocean (September 21).

On September 23, U.S. military’s B-1 strategic bombers flew in international airspace off the east coast of North Korea which consequently increased military tensions. Two days later, N. Korean foreign minister responded by saying that the country has the right to strike down U.S. strategic bombers headed for North Korea even if the aircraft are not in North Korea’s territorial airspace.

With the tension between Pyongyang and Washington rising, there is a real risk that a minor incident or a misunderstanding could trigger a military conflict. Although PM Abe says that nobody in the world “aspires war”, he says nothing about how to avoid military confrontation.

German Canceller Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and many other state leaders stress the importance of talks. The UN Security Council Resolution 2375, which was adopted in response to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, calls for “a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue” while imposing sanctions.

As a country having the pacifist Constitution, Japan should play a role in diplomatic efforts. A major advance of the Japanese Communist Party in the coming general election will help to put pressure on the Japanese government to do this.

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