pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #36A – Japan-DPRK: PM Koizumi’s ‘Bold Gamble’

I’m not sure whether to be cautiously optimistic or cautiously pessimistic about Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro’s upcoming (Sept. 17) visit to North Korea, but either way, "caution" is the watchword. I am strongly in favor of increased dialogue with North Korea, by South Korea and the United States as well as by Japan. The fact that Pyongyang suddenly seems serious about engaging in high-level discussions with all three simultaneously presents an opportunity that should not be missed or squandered, even if it must be approached carefully.