Tentative Improvement through Pragmatism

Author
Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Comparative Connections
Volume
10
Issue Number
2
Publication Date
July 2008
Institution
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Abstract
Japan's relations with both North and South Korea improved over the past quarter. In conjunction with the North's June declaration of its nuclear activities, there was renewed momentum in resolving the two biggest pending bilateral issues between Tokyo and Pyongyang – the North's nuclear development program and the abduction issue. Bilateral talks resumed in mid-June after more than six months of no progress. The second quarter also marked a fresh start for Tokyo and Seoul as President Lee's Myung-bak's visit to Japan – the first since December 2004 by a South Korean president – marked the resumption of so-called “shuttle diplomacy.” The summit between Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and President Lee produced agreements on several bilateral issues, including the stalled bilateral FTA negotiations, closer coordination on policy regarding North Korea's nuclear development program, and youth exchanges.
Topic
International Relations, International Security
Political Geography
Japan, South Korea, North Korea