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North Korea nuclear crisis

North Korean diplomat tells Japan not to meddle in denuclearisation

Delegate to UN conference on disarmament says Tokyo ought ‘to refrain from poking into others’ business’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2018, 12:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2018, 3:55pm

A North Korean diplomat to the United Nations advised Japan on Tuesday not to meddle in the process of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The remarks by councillor Ju Yong-chol came in a speech delivered on the first day of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, after representatives of Japan and other countries urged North Korea to step up its denuclearisation efforts.

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Ju said that since Japan is a state signatory to neither the Panmunjom Declaration adopted at the inter-Korean meeting in April nor the Singapore joint statement issued after the US-North Korea summit meeting this month, it would be “well advised to refrain from poking into others’ business”.

He spoke a day after the country’s official Korean Central News Agency said that Japan should atone for its colonial rule of Korea in the first part of the 20th century if it wants to be accorded a role in the denuclearisation process.

“Japan is legally and morally obliged to make a sincere apology and reparation,” a commentary by the agency said. “Japan can never evade this responsibility.”

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The KCNA commentary was in response to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks this month that Japan is willing to share the financial burden of North Korea’s denuclearisation.