Japan's Request on N. Korea Attests to Tehran's Diplomatic Deftness

Japan's Request on N. Korea Attests to Tehran's Diplomatic DeftnessJapan's Request on N. Korea Attests to Tehran's Diplomatic Deftness

Japan's reported call for Iran to use its influence on the North Korean leadership to help settle an escalating row between the reclusive state and the United States proves the deftness of the Islamic Republic's diplomacy, a lawmaker said.

"Japan's approach to seek Iran's help in reducing the pressure of North Korea is indicative of the Islamic Republic's active diplomacy, particularly with regard to international negotiations and talks," Parvaneh Mafi also said in an interview with ICANA on Saturday.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has asked his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to reach out to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to defuse an increasingly hostile war of words with US President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported.

"You have to help us with North Korea," Kono was overheard telling Zarif at the start of a meeting on Friday, before any of the usual diplomatic greetings and niceties.

There has been ample theorizing that a threatened US withdrawal from the nuclear accord with Iran would undercut the already slim prospects of making Kim abandon his rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal.

Therefore, Kono went for a more direct approach.

Iran, which maintains an embassy in Pyongyang, is said to have close ties with the Kim government.

Both countries face the wrath of the US over their nuclear programs.

Trump imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea on Thursday and has repeatedly called for the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran to be canceled or renegotiated.

In their most recent name-calling exchanges, Kim called Trump "mentally deranged" and a "dotard"—sending many readers to Google or online dictionaries—and Trump called Kim "a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people".


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