Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he is ready to promote talks with North Korea to resolve the abduction issue after Pyongyang blew the lid off of what was supposed to be a secret trip by one of his closest advisers.

"I hope I can promote negotiations and dialogue," Abe said in the city of Fukuoka. "I will continue pressuring North Korea as long as the abduction issue remains unresolved."

His comments came after North Korean television revealed Tuesday that communications guru Isao Iijima was making a hush-hush visit but broadcast live footage of it upon his arrival.