Special Forum

Through the repeated cycles of North Korean missile and nuclear testing, negotiations, and sanctions that have characterized international reaction to Pyongyang’s proliferation, Japan has gradually lost ground it its effort to shape events on the Korean Peninsula. Tokyo made some progress in direct negotiations with Kim Jong-il, most notably the visits to Pyongyang by Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro in 2002 and 2004, but with limited success in improving its strategic position. Since the succession of Kim Jong-un, Tokyo has put greater emphasis on ensuring it is prepared militarily for a more unpredictable North Korea, and strengthened its support for UN Security Council sanctions on North Korean proliferation.

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