North Korea Open to Japan Ties, U.S. Supports Diplomacy

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North Korea Open to Japan Ties, U.S. Supports Diplomacy

Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has expressed openness to improving relations with Japan. She stated that a potential visit by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to Pyongyang could be considered a positive step. Japan, however, has no formal diplomatic ties with North Korea, and its criticism of Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs has drawn harsh responses from the North.

Kim Yo Jong emphasized that her views on Japan were personal observations and that she was unaware of any specific plans from the North Korean leadership to establish contact with Tokyo. Nonetheless, she suggested that Japan's decision to respect and behave respectfully towards North Korea could pave the way for a renewed relationship.

Meanwhile, the United States has expressed support for any diplomatic efforts with North Korea, despite the country's repeated rejection of U.S. offers for unconditional talks. A U.S. official has also noted that Washington values Japan's role in coordinating policy on North Korea with the U.S. and South Korea.