A summit meeting was held for the first time between Japan and North Korea in September 2002, after which five of the Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea were able to return home. In an interview with NHK, the key negotiator revealed for the first time what happened behind the scenes. How was the historical summit realized even after Pyongyang said it would terminate the negotiations? Now, 20 years later, ties between Japan and North Korea are at a stalemate. We uncover some clues about how to break the deadlock from the lessons learned back then.
Isozaki Atsuhito (Professor, Keio University)