Despite what appears to be good news that North Korea leader Kim Jong Un is eager to hold a bilateral summit with Japan, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains cautious, saying there are many hurdles to be overcome.

Since Abe has said there needs to be progress on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted decades ago by North Korean agents, he cannot simply meet with Kim without any guarantee that the summit will bear fruit.

"If we agree to a summit with no prerequisites (on the abduction issue), they will ignore it and instead demand compensation over past history," a senior official at the Prime Minister's Office said.