SEOUL – A South Korean newspaper reported Wednesday that Japan has conveyed to the United States its readiness to host a second U.S.-North Korea summit being arranged by Washington and Pyongyang.
The Kyunghyang Shinmun, without quoting a source, said North Korea has reacted positively to the offer, adding that Japan appears to be considering a “resort” other than Tokyo for the location of such a summit.
But in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied the report.
As for Japan’s motive for hosting the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the daily said Japan is likely seeking to avoid being kept from being involved in intensifying dialogue regarding the Korean Peninsula.
The report also alluded to speculation that if Japan hosted the summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would also hold talks with Kim and could possibly reach some kind of agreement on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago.
Abe, who is eager to resolve the long-standing abduction issue, is exploring summit talks with Kim as the North Korean leader moves to build closer ties with the leaders of South Korea, China and the United States.
On Tuesday, Trump said he is considering three or four possible locations for the second Trump-Kim summit, while saying he wants to hold it after U.S. midterm elections on Nov. 6.
The U.S. and North Korean leaders held their first summit in June in Singapore, where Kim pledged to work toward “complete” denuclearization of the peninsula.