False alarm (for now)

Not surprisingly, Chris Hill has dismissed claims that the US agreed to remove North Korea from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list, at least not before North Korea makes significant progress towards denuclearization.

Perhaps the news media should, you know, actually check with the other party in the talks before reporting the claims of the North Korean foreign ministry.

Nevertheless, Hill’s agreement did contain a concession of major significance for Japan (of course unreported): Hill made no mention whatsoever of the abductions issue, sending a clear signal to Japan that if it thinks that the US has linked the terror list removal to denuclearization and the resolution of the abductions issue, it is in for a surprise.

Hear that Mr. Abe? Stop listening to what your buddy George says and start paying attention to what the key players on this issue are actually doing. And get your government ready for the shift, instead of saying after the fact, “We had no idea that the US would change its position like that.”

2 thoughts on “False alarm (for now)

  1. If you\’re right – I still think that it is far more likely that North Korea won\’t let it happen – then the Japanese authorities should have seen it coming just by looking at the year-on-year changes in the relevant parts of the annual reports. Not that it could have done anything differently; given the political corner it had painted itself into.But there\’s an interesting op-ed here. Look at the reports, and let me know if you are interested. Otherwise, I\’ll try to find the time and energy to do the blog post I\’ve been fiddling around with, mostly in my head.


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