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After having been insulted by the North Koreans over fraudulent remains of kidnapped Japanese citizens, Japan threatened economic sanctions if Kim Jpng-Il's regime did not answer for its intransigence. This led to a threat from Pyongyang that Japanese sanctions would amount to war and that the DPRK would respond in kind. This morning, Japan blinked, at least for the moment:
Japan says it will give North Korea more time to resolve a dispute over kidnapped Japanese citizens before imposing sanctions.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made the pledge after talks with visiting South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.
The Japanese government is under pressure to impose sanctions over a row concerning kidnapped Japanese.
Japan had a lot of company, with Roo's voice joining that of China and the US advising that Japan essentially do nothing but complain. Kim Jong-Il has won another minor battle in the multilateral talks without much of a fight.
Over the past decades, the North Koreans kidnapped a number of Japanese citizens and enslaved them -- there is no better word for it -- in order to learn how to infiltrate Japanese society and plan for its destruction. No one knows for sure how many were taken, but Pyongyang finally admitted to the practice earlier this year and promised to return the remains of those who died as slaves to Kim Jong-Il. After all that, with the families of those kidnapped waiting for the chance to inter their loved ones, the Kim regime pulled a bait-and-switch and sent back the cremains of others. Apparently Pyongyang had no idea that cremains can be tested for DNA analysis.
Under any other circumstances, these revelations should provoke a strong response, and indeed the Kim regime appears to practically beg for it. Still, the appeasement approach to Kim Jong-Il continues, and like Hitler in 1938, Kim must be wondering exactly what it takes for his enemies to finally figure out that he won't ever settle for peace.Sphere It View blog reactions
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