Abe thanks Trump for raising issue of Japanese abductees

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, to comment on the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.

The Japan NewsPrime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed gratitude toward U.S. President Donald Trump for raising the abduction issue during the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting on Tuesday.

“I highly evaluate that he [Trump] referred [during the summit meeting] to what I had told him about the abduction issue, which is of importance for Japan,” Abe told reporters on Tuesday evening. “I thank him for clearly raising the abduction issue.”

The prime minister hinted at an eagerness to have direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying, “The abduction issue, of course, must be settled between the two countries.”

Abe also said Kim’s will toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was confirmed in the form of a document, adding he supports this as the first step toward the comprehensive settlement of various issues over North Korea.

Abe stressed that he will do his utmost to resolve issues over North Korea, including nuclear and missile development programs, working with the United States and South Korea, and in cooperation with China, Russia and the international community.

Abe added that he plans to speak with Trump via telephone as early as later in the day to be briefed about the outcome of the historic summit. Abe also plans to have a telephone conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Kono to meet with Pompeo

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit South Korea on Wednesday and Thursday to hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Kono also plans to hold a three-way foreign ministerial meeting, which will be joined by South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha.

Kono will be briefed by Pompeo on the U.S.-North Korea summit. Kono, Pompeo and Kang are expected to discuss how to deal with the North Korea issue.

Foreign Ministry officials who will attend the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, scheduled to be held in Mongolia on Thursday and Friday, plan to contact North Korean officials there to try to find out how Pyongyang thinks about a possible Abe-Kim meeting.

The Japanese government had dispatched officials including Shotaro Yachi, secretary general of the National Security Secretariat, to Singapore. They set up a base in the Shangri-La Hotel, where U.S. President Donald Trump was staying, and met with U.S. and South Korean government officials.Speech

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