Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't believe North Korea will use summits with the United States and South Korea to buy time to pursue its nuclear and missile programs, Seoul's presidential office said Tuesday after the Japanese leader held a meeting with a South Korean envoy who met North leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month in Pyongyang.

"North Korea has big negotiations to make at the intra-Korean summit and later its summit with the United States and in light of the situation I don't think (North Korea) will use this opportunity to simply buy time," Abe was cited as saying by the Blue House in a statement.

The apparent shift came just days after Abe, in his first public comments since an apparent diplomatic breakthrough, warned last Thursday that North Korea's offer of denuclearization talks with the United States could be a ploy to play for time. He said at the time that talks for the sake of talks were "meaningless."