Japan PM, U.S. envoy to U.N. vow continued cooperation over North Korea

Japan PM, U.S. envoy to U.N. vow continued cooperation over North Korea
# 19 April 2024 09:00 (UTC +04:00)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations agreed Friday to continue working closely together to address issues surrounding North Korea, including its past abductions of Japanese citizens, APA reports citing Kyodo.

During his talks at his office with the ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Kishida emphasized the necessity of implementing U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which has developed nuclear weapons and advanced missiles.

The prime minister was quoted by his government as telling Thomas-Greenfield, "The leadership by Japan and the United States is more important today than ever to lead the world to cooperation, not to division or confrontation."

Thomas-Greenfield, who is on a trip to South Korea and Japan, told reporters after the meeting that she talked with Kishida about how Japan, the United States and South Korea should join hands in the U.N. Security Council for international stability.

Japan, which has been serving its two-year stint as a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council since early last year, has long sought a permanent post on the 15-member panel.

Meanwhile, Thomas-Greenfield, who held a gathering on Thursday with families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, described the opportunity as "extraordinarily emotional and moving."

"Their stories are a pain and heartache as they continue to deal with the situation of not knowing what has happened with their family members," she said.

At the outset of the meeting, Sakie Yokota, the mother of Megumi, who has become a symbol of the abductees, said, "Now that I'm 88 years old, all I want is to see her, even if just for a moment, while I'm still well. I don't need anything else."

Megumi was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977 at the age of 13 while on her way home from junior high school in Niigata Prefecture, along the Sea of Japan coast.