NATIONAL

Japan mulls sending nuclear experts to NK: reports

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Jun 24, 2018 - 16:46
  • Updated : Jun 24, 2018 - 16:46

The Japanese government is considering plans for dispatching experts to North Korea to take part in denuclearization process, Japanese media reported Sunday.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shinbum on Sunday reported that Tokyo is reviewing such plans, citing a number of government officials.

According to the report, if realized, the plan will see a number of civilian Japanese experts on dismantling nuclear facilities taking part in scrapping Pyongyang’s nuclear program, as agreed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with US Indo-Pacific Command commander Admiral Philip Davidson on Thursday. At the meeting, Abe conveyed his intentions to take a hand in the process of denuclearizing North Korea. Yonhap

The daily reported that while the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons limits Japan’s involvement in dismantling nuclear weapons, the treaty does allow for its participation in decommissioning nuclear reactors, uranium enrichment facilities and others related to nuclear programs.

The NPT limits dismantling and discarding of nuclear weapons to five nuclear-armed states -- China, France, Russia, UK and the US -- the Japanese daily said.

According to related news reports, the Japanese government plans to put the knowledge and experience gained from dealing with the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The plans for sending personnel, and covering parts of the denuclearization costs, are considered to be a move aimed at increasing Japan’s role in the process of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

With Pyongyang and Washington dealing directly with mediation from Seoul, Tokyo’s role in regional security issues had been considered significantly reduced compared to the recent past.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)