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Abe willing to talk directly with Pyongyang to resolve abduction issue

AFP-JIJI

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday he is willing to talk directly with North Korea in a bid to resolve the festering issue of abductions of Japanese citizens and foster better ties with Pyongyang.

“I wish to directly face North Korea and talk with them so that the abduction problem can be resolved quickly,” Abe said at a joint news conference with President Donald Trump.

The U.S. leader promised to raise the highly sensitive issue of the Japanese nationals kidnapped by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s with Kim Jong Un at next week’s high-stakes summit in Singapore.

Abe added there was no change in Japan’s policy to pursue “real peace in Northeast Asia” and that if North Korea “is willing to take steps” in the right direction, it will have a “bright future.”