- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 1, 2004


Pyongyang complains of Japan, U.S. moves

JAKARTA, Indonesia — North Korea chided Japan yesterday for trying to impose sanctions after foreign ministers of the two nations met here on the sidelines of a regional forum.

Paek Nam-Sun also told his Japanese counterpart, Yoriko Kawaguchi, there could be no progress on talks to end its nuclear program unless the United States did more to establish trust. He told Miss Kawaguchi that recent legislation allowing Tokyo to ban North Korean ships from Japanese ports was “detrimental to improved relations.”

The North Koreans also painted a gloomy picture of relations with the United States. “We told the Japanese delegation that between North Korea and the United States, there’s no trust,” said Chung Sung-il, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official. “The United States has to understand it needs to build trust if it wants to continue talking about nuclear weapons.”


AWOL American may see his spouse

TOKYO — Indonesia could host a reunion between a U.S. Army deserter afraid to leave North Korea in case he is extradited and his Japanese wife, abducted by North Korean agents during the Cold War, but allowed to go home in 2002.

Tokyo and Pyongyang have been searching for a third country where Charles Robert Jenkins and Hitomi Soga can meet for the first time since she returned to Japan 20 months ago. She was kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1978.

Mr. Jenkins, who stayed in North Korea with their two daughters, ages 18 and 21, refused in May an offer from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to travel to Japan to meet his wife, fearing extradition and trial for his 1965 desertion. He was reported yesterday to have agreed to a reunion with his wife in Indonesia, which has no extradition treaty with the United States.

Weekly notes

Cambodia awaits the return of King Norodom Sihanouk, who has spent months in self-imposed exile, so that its bickering political leaders can put a yearlong dispute behind them and get on with governing the country. Yesterday, as the king watched on television from North Korea, political leaders sealed a deal reached last weekend to set up a coalition government. … Military-ruled Burma is in danger of becoming a failed state, but Europe should not impose more sanctions, because that would only hurt its poverty-stricken citizens, a top European official said yesterday. European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten urged the Association of South East Asian Nations to take a tougher approach to the junta in Rangoon, but said Europe should not, “because the victims would not be members of the regime, but the ordinary people of … Burma, who are already in wretched condition.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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