Japan will ask other Group of Seven industrialized nations to agree on the need to mention the complete denuclearization of North Korea in a joint communique to be issued after their leaders’ summit later this week in Canada, government sources said Tuesday.
Tokyo also hopes that the G-7 communique will call for an immediate resolution of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, the sources said.
Japan, the United States and South Korea have urged North Korea to take concrete steps in “a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes the G-7 will demonstrate its readiness to contribute to the success of the unprecedented U.S.-North Korean summit on June 12 in Singapore, the sources said.
Abe will visit Washington for talks with President Donald Trump before joining the two-day G-7 summit from Friday in Quebec’s Charlevoix.
During a meeting with Trump at the White House on Thursday, Abe will seek to coordinate their policies toward Pyongyang ahead of the summit between the U.S. president and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
For the summit in Canada, the Japanese government maintained in preparatory talks with its G-7 peers that the group should pledge to work to realize the dismantlement of arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as ballistic missiles, the sources said.
The leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States used a similar expression in the joint communique released after their summit in Italy last year, saying, “North Korea must…abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
A joint communique issued after a G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting in April in Toronto said “we are committed to maintaining maximum pressure,” using a term Trump and Abe have repeatedly used.
Last week, after meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a close aide to the North Korean leader, at the White House, Trump said he does not want to use the term anymore, while saying economic sanctions will stay in place.
Abe is expected to confirm the president’s true intention, before making a decision whether to request such wording in the G-7 summit communique, the sources said.
As Canada, which holds the rotating presidency of the G-7, seeks to make this year’s communique shorter, Tokyo is discussing with Ottawa so that the North Korean part would not be reduced.