‘Don’t be blind’ Japan warns world not to be fooled by North Korea charm offensive

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
By Paul Martin

JAPAN has urged world leaders not to be naive about North Korea’s “charm offensive” as the country talks with South Korea ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics.

Tue, Jan 16, 2018

North Korea has started talks with South Korea for the first time in decades ahead of the Games with speculation an intra-Korean team could be entered.

But critics have warned South Korea’s allies not to be fooled by Pyongyang’s charm offensive just weeks after a series of nuclear threats.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Tara Kono made the comments at a 20-nation meeting on North Korea in Vancouver.

He said: “It is not the time to ease pressure or to reward North Korea.

“The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working”.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “We must increase the costs of the regime’s behaviour to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has refused to give up the development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States in spite of increasingly severe sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

The Vancouver meeting aims to improve the effectiveness of the US led campaign on North Korea.

Mr Tillerson said all countries needed to work together to improve how effective the sanctions are and said there must be “new consequences” for North Korea “whenever new aggression occurs.”

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