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In U.S.-North Korea Talks, Japan Makes Three

Mar 21, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A huge map on the street in Tokyo shows the course and distance of a North Korean missile that flew over Japan in a test launch in 2017.

Now that Pyongyang and Seoul are working together to arrange bilateral talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, Japan is worried that it will lose its say over the Korean Peninsula's future.

(KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

For Japan, like China, Korea's division has been something of a blessing, keeping the "dagger" of the peninsula dull and diverted. By the same token, the warming ties between Pyongyang and Seoul since the start of the year have been a cause for concern. Each side is a menace in its own right. While North Korea is striving to shift the balance of power in Northeast Asia with its nuclear weapons program, South Korea represents a strong economic competitor sharing the U.S. security umbrella. And now that Pyongyang and Seoul are working together to set up direct negotiations between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, Japan fears losing its say in how the Korean Peninsula shapes up. The alarming prospect will compel Tokyo to stay as involved as it can in Washington's plans while also trying to improve its relations with North and South Korea...

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