Japan and the United States have taken note of remarks by the powerful sister of North Korea’s leader hinting at the possibility of a visit to Pyongyang by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with Washington offering its blessings to the potential summit.

Kishida has repeatedly pledged to meet “unconditionally” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a call that had been met largely with silence from Pyongyang — until the late-Thursday comments of Kim Yo Jong, herself a senior official in her brother’s regime.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi on Friday acknowledged those remarks, saying Japan is “keeping in mind” what could represent a rare chance of a thaw between the East Asian neighbors as Tokyo continues behind-the-scenes talks for a possible summit.