Nowadays, Japanese politicians are becoming habitual in saying that they would seek a comprehensive solution to pending issues including abduction, nukes and missiles, liquidate the unpleasant past and move towards a normalization of state relations on the basis of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration, and they are making nonsensical remarks that these issues should be discussed at an “unconditional” DPRK-Japan summit.
If I may state my conclusion first, the argument – that pending issues including abduction, nukes and missiles should be settled before the past is to be liquidated on the basis of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration – is a sophistry which cruelly twists the spirit and the basic principle of the Declaration.
The DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration adopted on September 17, 2002 affirmed a shared understanding that liquidation of the unpleasant past between the DPRK and Japan, solution to the pending issues, and establishment of fruitful relations in the fields of politics, economy and culture would conform with the fundamental interests of both sides and constitute a great contribution to peace and stability of the region.
It follows therefore that Japan should first liquidate its past, a first process in the solution to all issues arising in the DPRK-Japan relations.
Abduction issue was already resolved by our sincerity and efforts.
Moreover, there is not an expression itself of an abduction issue in the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration.
Even a child knows that the underlying cause of abnormal and hostile relations existing between the DPRK and Japan lies in the seven-decade-long failure by Japan to liquidate its history of crimes perpetrated against the Korean people, not in the abduction issue nor the nuclear and missile issues brought up by Japan.
Japanese insistence on settling the issues of abduction, nukes and missiles first while shelving the liquidation of its past is no less than a poor trick to veil its misconduct and evade the liquidation of its past.
It is totally unreasonable that Japan attempts to discuss the issues of abduction, nukes and missiles at an “unconditional” DPRK-Japan summit, and this also is a despicable act of deceiving its people as well.
Far from apologizing the Korean residents in Japan, direct victims of the colonial policy of the Japanese imperialists and guaranteeing them their due status in conformity with the basic spirit of the Pyongyang Declaration, Japan is now attempting to obliterate the nationality and human rights of the Korean residents in Japan by forcing a policy which bears little difference from its “assimilation” policy pursued during the period of Japanese imperialism.
Japanese politicians, if they are men of rational faculties and insights, will have to be fully aware of the elevated strategic position of the DPRK and think deeply about how they will find themselves worthy of facing the latter, so as to weigh up pros and cons for the state of Japan and its people.
What Japan must do first and foremost for an implementation of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration is to correct its wrong policy and start liquidating its past crimes, historical responsibility of Japan.
The more the time passes, the heavier the crimes will become, so does the amount of price to be paid.
The Japanese politicians should wake up to the reality and make a right choice.
Essay by Mr. Kim Jong Hyok, Researcher of Institute for Studies of Japan, DPRK