One can only be appalled at the stubbornness of Korea’s president Park Geun-hye. Both PM Abe Shinzo and American president Barack Obama are looking forward to the talks at the highest level between Japan, US and Korea in Hague, and only Korea still would not confirm its participation. Now, in addition to the comfort women issue Korea is having problems with Japan certifying its textbooks. No wonder Japan and US are losing their temper.
On May 17 spokesman for the Korean president commented about the possibility of Japan, US and Korea talks during the nuclear security summit in Hague, Netherlands: “If Japan expresses its sincere attitude, and there will be a place for the constructive conversation, there is no reason not to talk”. At long last the Park’s administration is being positive about the top-level talks, but you can’t trust them easily.
On the same day the Yonhap news agency expressed concerns of the Korean side about the results of primary school textbook screening to be published right after the talks: “If Korea is to be drawn into unfavorable talks, it will have bad effect on the domestic policy”.
Also on Mar 18 Kankoku Nippo magazine reported that during the talks of vice minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Korea held in Seoul on Mar 12 Korean side brought forward three conditions for Japan: (1) Kono Youhei statement on the wartime comfort women is to be unchallenged, (2) a conference on this issue is to be held at vice-minister level, (3) PM Abe must not visit Yasukuni shrine.
The US lead by president Obama would like to see peace and stability in the North-Eastern Asia, and that is why the US is acting as an intermediary to patch up the relationships between Japan and Korea. PM Abe valued this effort and during his testimony before the Upper House Budget Committee on Mar 14 reaffirmed his position about the much problematic “Kono statement”: “Abe’s cabinet is not seeking to review it”. He also stated the following about the comfort women issue: “Their suffering was beyond all description, and I am deeply saddened by this”.
President Park in response to PM Abe’s statement said “I am glad”, but at the same time spokesman for the president only stated: “At this moment nothing is decided”. It seems that Korea wants to further negotiate the conditions.
But now it is all up to Korea. If they are holding back the answer until the very end and try to force Japan into even more compromise, such behavior cannot be forgiven.