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Japan needs to map out plan B

10 4 31

WASHINGTON – The deal reached between the United States and North Korea is far from what Japan would have negotiated for itself. Granted, Donald Trump was in communication with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the phone during his time in Singapore, and the U.S. president said at his concluding press conference that the Japanese abduction issue was raised during his bilateral talks with Kim Jong Un. Yet the downside risks of what could happen in the near term and in the long run may have actually increased.

In the brief four-point joint statement, the U.S. and North Korea agreed to work toward complete denuclearization, but without a clear timeline or other details on how that process could be pursued and monitored. What Trump did make clear, though, is that he is open to the possibility of having Kim visit the White House, and for him to visit Pyongyang. That would add to the list of firsts that appears to be a not insignificant driving force in Trump’s pursuit of diplomatic relations. But just as much as the administration is willing to take on an unchartered approach to diplomacy, it also is undaunted about confronting........

© The Japan Times