National / Politics

Abe weighed meeting with Kim in Pyongyang to lift sagging approval ratings

JIJI

Veteran journalist Soichiro Tahara advised unpopular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stake his political career on a visit to North Korea during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in July, informed sources said.

Tahara proposed that Abe visit North Korea to ask its leader, Kim Jong Un, to return to the six-party talks aimed at dismantling the reclusive state’s nuclear program, the sources said Friday.

Tahara revealed the proposal in a meeting Thursday with politicians from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the sources said.

In their talks in July, Tahara suggested that Abe should persuade the United States, China and Russia to resume the six-party framework, which North Korea abandoned in April 2009, according to a person who joined the LDP meeting.

Although Abe told the journalist he was eager to accept the proposal, he gave up on the idea due to opposition from the United States, Tahara was quoted as saying.

The six-party talks also involve Japan and South Korea.

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