Shuttle Diplomacy

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi originally swept to power on a platform of domestic economic reform, but his boldest initiatives so far have been in the area of foreign policy. In recent weeks in particular, Koizumi has been playing honest broker in one of the world's most vexing conundrums: how to defuse North Korea, which claims a nuclear weapons capability.

First, in a one-day dash to Pyongyang, Koizumi secured the release of most family members of five repatriated Japanese citizens abducted by the Hermit Kingdom in the 1970s. Meeting with reporters in Tokyo last week, Koizumi sounded...

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