Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Top adviser of Japan Prime Minister Abe in Pyongyang

Iijima san and Kim Chol Ho, Pyongyang

This is the man, Isao Iijima (L) adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who arrived in North Korea today on May 14 in a rare surprise visit to Pyongyang, media say the purpose of the visit was not immediately known. North Korean state television showed the aide, Isao Iijima, arriving in Pyongyang. Kyodo news said he was met by Kim Chol Ho, vice director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department. ijima was a top aide to former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who visited Pyongyang for talks with then North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, in September 2002 and May 2004.

Isao Iijima is rough enough and generous enough... to deal with North Korean on abductees and nuclear missiles. People rumour he is here to meet ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK government in a bid to improve bilateral relations, nuclear missiles crisis, abductees. Japan and North Korea resumed intergovernmental negotiations in last August after a four-year hiatus. Money is an important item in such negotiation but also softer aid. Remains to be seen what the US will comment.

Ijima san is well versed in many aspects of the secret diplomacy of Japan's government. I can only understand that the abductees issue is a very crucial agenda for Shinzo Abe who always keeps the eyes on the July election at Japanese Parliament Upper House. It federates support from Japanese public opinion. I also heard from a former top LDP that the number of abductees from Japan "kidnapped" or voluntarily staying in North Korea is in the range of several dozens, at one point I heard over more than a hundred. Far from the 8 publicly announced.

The problem with North Korea is, obviously, that it is involved in narcotics and counterfeit operations to fund its missile and nuclear ambitions.  No government in Japan could possibly ignore that. Especially Ijima or Abe knowing  the fact that without China's help, North Korea would not be able to make even a toothbrush...
More later.

IJIMA Isao さん (L) JLK (R) chat in a party

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