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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 16, 2018 (PM)

 
If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As
 
REPORTER: I would like to ask about the latest moves by North Korea. North Korea has indicated that it might cancel the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. Considering the timing of such indication, how does the Government analyze the North Korea’s intention?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to avoid conjecturing about the future actions of North Korea. Meanwhile, the Government constantly gathers and analyzes information on the developments of North Korea with grave interest. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.
 
REPORTER: Some see that this is just part of its tactics towards the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. What are your thoughts on this?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government has upheld its consistent position of seeking to settle the unfortunate past and normalize its relations with North Korea in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, by comprehensively resolving outstanding issues of concern such as the abduction, nuclear and missile issues. Furthermore, we would like to prepare for this historic U.S.-North Korea summit meeting with the U.S., while constantly and thoroughly conveying our position to the U.S., to ensure that this meeting serves as an opportunity to make progress towards the comprehensive resolution of the various issues surrounding North Korea.
 
REPORTER: In that case, is there no change to the Government’s intention to continue preparations with the United States and other countries concerned towards the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is absolutely no change.
 
REPORTER: Regarding the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, which you have just mentioned, looking ahead, what impact do you think these recent developments will have on the possibility of a Japan-North Korea summit meeting after the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, that is an issue to be addressed after the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.
 
REPORTER: I have a related question. North Korea announced that it will dismantle the Punggye-ri nuclear test site next week in the presence of the foreign media. In light of the recent statements suggesting the potential cancelation of the summit meeting, do you expect North Korea to carry out the dismantling as announced?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: You should ask that question to North Korea. In any case, Japan constantly gathers and analyzes information on the developments of North Korea with grave interest.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the missile defense structure to counter North Korea. After North Korea launched ballistic missiles through the airspace of Hokkaido in August and September 2017, a Patriot missile unit was deployed to Hakodate, and remains there until today. Last month, North Korea announced that it would suspend missile tests, but does the Government continue to see North Korea’s missiles as a potential threat?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe this administration’s greatest responsibility is to protect the lives and the property of the Japanese people under any circumstances. Until now, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches repeatedly, and the Government has firmly maintained the necessary structure and continuously gathered and analyzed information on the developments of North Korea with grave interest. I would like to refrain from making comments on the details due to the nature of this matter.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: Regarding North Korea, according to some reports, Chairman Kim Jong-un said to President Moon Jae-in why Japan did not directly talk about the abduction issue. If this is true, it would pose doubts on the current position the Government until now. Does the diplomatic route that was used at the time of former Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to North Korea still exist today?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan has been firmly and strategically dealing with this issue. I would like to refrain from responding to each and every individual report.

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