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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:52 03/09/2007
News Review #81: November 12, 2002

Envoy Says U.S. May Stop N.Korea Oil Shipments - Media

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"Envoy Says U.S. May Stop N.Korea Oil Shipments - Media"
(by REUTERS) New York Times


The article seems to reflect the frustration on the part of U.S. government with Japan, and South Korea in dealing with North Korea after their admission of nuclear arms development. While U.S. is trying to put pressures on North Korea, Japan and Korea are not so enthusiastic in punishing them.

There has not been a day in Japan where North Korea was not featured by media in terms of either their admission of nuclear arms development or the returning of the abducted people. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, the fate of the abducted citizens, especially the five people who have come back to their homes have attracted more attention in Japan, rather than the issue of nuclear armaments.

It has been four weeks since the five people returned home after a quarter of a century from when they were kidnapped by the agents of North Korean government. It was a result of Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to Pyongyang in mid-September when Kim Jong Il, their leader, confessed for the first time the abduction of Japanese citizens. After spending almost a month in their homelands, meeting their families and friends, the victims' minds have seemed to have calmed down, and have begun to talk of their own thoughts and wishes.

It is apparent, however, that the concerns occupying their minds are the safety and the fate of their children left in North Korea. They have not been able to communicate with their children because North Korea has not allowed them to.

In fact, North Korea attempted to use the children to their advantage toward the end of last month in the failed bilateral talks with Japan, condemning that it is Japan's government who is being atrocious in separating the families. It could have been almost a joke if it were not a reference to such a tragic circumstance, which only emphasized the malevolence of North Korea's regime.

It would be a difficult decision to make for Japan's government, or for any government, when children are held hostage by villains, while on the other hand taciturnity could endanger the safety of its citizens. It would not be easy to adopt a tough measure against North Korea for Japan and South Koreas governments since there are believed to be more hostages being held in the rogue nation.

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