The two countries may not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but senior diplomats from China and Japan found a way to meet on Monday to discuss prevailing issues over the North Korea situation. Japan’s new chief nuclear negotiator for North Korea, Junichi Ihara, and China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, Wu Dawei, met for the first time to clarify Tokyo’s stance that multilateral talks with Pyongyang can only proceed if the reclusive state takes meaningful steps towards denuclearization.
After months of threatening to attack the United States and its allies, North Korea has made an about face and is now seeking to resume talks with the US and the other members of the six-party talks that stalled in 2008 and was created to bring an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Wu Dawei is the chair of the six-party talks that include the two Koreas, China, Japan, the US and Russia. China is the main ally of North Korea and so they have taken a much more positive stance on the renewal of the talks, even after issuing a stern warning to Pyongyang during their third nuclear test last February.
Ihara also met with other Chinese officials on his 3-day visit to discuss bilateral issues, aside from North Korea. This follows Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki‘s visit to Beijing last week where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin to discuss the issues facing the two neighbours, including the territorial dispute over the Senkakus/Diaoyu Islands.
[ via Global Post ]