North Korea Signals Openness to Improved Relations with Japan

SEOUL - In a notable shift in diplomatic posture, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, expressed openness to enhancing relations with Japan. This statement comes in response to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's recent remarks on seeking to transform the relationship between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Kim Yo-jong remarked that there is no reason not to view Kishida's speech positively, provided it reflects a genuine intention to overcome historical tensions and promote bilateral relations. She highlighted potential advancements, including a visit by the Japanese Prime Minister to Pyongyang, contingent on Japan's willingness to address issues such as its stance on North Korea's self-defense rights and the long-standing abduction issue.

This development signals a potential thaw in the strained relations between North Korea and Japan, marred by decades of diplomatic and security issues. However, Kim Yo-jong also cautioned that the North Korean leadership remains skeptical of Japan's intentions and stressed the importance of observing Tokyo's future actions. The statement raises the possibility of a new phase in DPRK-Japan relations, even as observers remain cautious about the prospects for substantive progress.

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