Abe eager to hold talks with Kim over abduction issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference in Quebec City on Saturday evening.

By Keita Ikeda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterQUEBEC CITY — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday reiterated his enthusiasm to realize a bilateral meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the abduction issue.

“I’m determined to settle it [the abduction issue] through direct talks between our country and North Korea eventually,” Abe said at a press conference held after the Group of Seven summit meeting in Charlevoix, Canada.

Abe stressed that it is “extremely important” that the Japan-North Korea summit meeting lead to the settlement of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile issues and the abduction issue, which he described as “being of utmost importance.”

The prime minister also expressed Japan’s “readiness to provide economic cooperation [to North Korea] after settling an unfortunate past and normalizing diplomatic relations based on the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration” if the pending issues are resolved.

Regarding the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions resolutions on North Korea, Abe said, “As our consensus, the G-7 countries agreed again to call on [relevant countries] to fully implement sanctions.”

During the latest G-7 summit meeting, leaders of the participating countries were fiercely at odds with the United States over its moves to impose restrictions on steel and aluminum imports.

Abe praised the adoption of a joint communique that stipulates a “rules-based international trading system” meant “to fight protectionism.”

“It was the seventh summit I’ve attended, but my first to see leaders have face-to-face talks late at night and then discussions again the next morning,” Abe said, referring to the intense talks on trade. “It’s very significant in that leaders shared what they’re really thinking and reached an agreement.”

Regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to readmit Russia to the G-7, Abe said, “It’s also necessary to call for Russia’s constructive involvement to present proper solutions to address global challenges.”Speech

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