Who to believe?

Earlier this week I noted that Condi Rice had told Japan that the resolution of the abductions issue was no longer an obstacle to the removal of North Korea from the US State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Indicating just how serious this issue is to Tokyo, Yomiuri (article not online) reported yesterday that Abe had a twenty-minute phone call with President Bush on the evening of the 14th to clarify US support on the abductions — and, of course, George told his buddy Shinzo that he still enjoys the president’s support.

The State Department’s deputy spokesman reiterated US support as well.

So what does the leaked suggestion of US willingness to shift ever further away from Japan’s position mean? Is there any substance to it, despite US denials, or is it just another leak in an administration that is sinking fast? I guess we won’t know until North Korea dangles some bait, because until that point the US can claim unconditional support for Japan all it wants without having to do anything to prove it.

Alternatively, perhaps this leak was a calculated move to entice North Korea to stay on the wagon, so to speak.

Whatever the reason, I remain unconvinced that the US is with Japan all the way on abductions.

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