Chinese and Japanese envoys met in Beijing on Monday to discuss and coordinate the policies of the two Asian superpowers when it comes to stymying the continued efforts of North Korea to build a nuclear weapons program, Yonhap News Agency reported.
North Korea has recently offered to engage in discussion with South Korea and the United States about its nuclear program, but only reached out after conducting a nuclear test in February. Those offers of talks have been rebuffed by the United States, South Korea and Japan, with officials saying they await North Korea demonstrating behavior consistent with a commitment to denuclearization.
On Tuesday, at the end of Japanese diplomat Junichi Ihara's three-day trip to China, he asked for Chinese aid in finding a solution to the North Korean kidnapping of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and '80s, Kyodo News International reported.
Tensions between North and South Korea have also been simmering over the fate of the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint South Korean-North Korean economic venture north of the demilitarized zone, Itar-Tass reported. The site was closed earlier this year and talks between the two nations have been unsuccessful thus far, leaving Seoul to now consider abandoning the site for good. Itar-Tass reported that North Korea has not responded to the most recent request by South Korea for "final talks."
Meanwhile, on Tuesday South Korea appropriated $6 million in government aid for North Korea for the first time since February, when South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office after vowing to be tough but open to dialogue with Pyongyang, the Associated Press reported. The $6 million will go toward providing medical care, vaccinations and food for children in North Korea.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.