The US and North Korea should hold direct talk without preconditions in order to avert crisis

Kazuo SHII
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan

Tokyo, Japan
August 12, 2017

The tension between North Korea and the United States over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs has intensified, potentially leading to a military confrontation.

In response to the additional UN Security Council sanctions recently adopted, North Korea on August 7 expressed its will to take retaliatory action, saying “the DPRK will move into its resolute action of justice.” On August 10, it sent a serious signal to the US by announcing plans to launch missiles that would splash down in the ocean near the US territory of Guam.

US President Trump countered North Korea’s announcement of the plan on August 8 by warning North Korea of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” On August 10, he also said, “He [North Korea’s leader] does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before, what will happen in North Korea.”

It is very dangerous that North Korea and the US continue to escalate their rhetoric of military threat without directly communicating with each other. We are deeply concerned that this situation could lead to misunderstanding or miscalculation that could result in military conflict.

We must avoid any military conflict that will destroy the peace and security in the region and claim numerous victims.

The Japanese Communist Party makes an urgent request to countries concerned regarding the following points in order to defuse the current crisis and resolve the issue in a peaceful and diplomatic manner.

(1)The fundamental cause of this crisis is the fact that North Korea has pushed ahead with its nuclear and missile development programs in defiance of the related UN resolutions. We strongly urge North Korea to abide by these resolutions and take no more provocative military actions – especially the planned missile attack on Guam.

(2)We call on the United States and North Korea to exercise self-restraint and enter into a direct dialogue unconditionally in order to overcome the current crisis. They should pursue the possibility of resolving the nuclear and missile issue through direct talks. In this regard, we are paying attention to the statement made by President Trump on August 10. He said: “Obama, he didn’t even want to talk about it. But I talk. Somebody has to do it.”

(3)Japan is one of the countries that will suffer the greatest damage from any military conflict between the United States and North Korea. The Japanese government should make efforts to encourage direct negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang in order to settle this issue peacefully and diplomatically instead of making military responses that only increase tensions.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
4-26-7 Sendagaya,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 151-8586