After years of being shut out from direct dealings with Pyongyang, it appears there is finally a window of opportunity for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to make contact with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

With negotiations between North Korea, the United States and South Korea at an impasse, the market is now open for Abe and Kim to negotiate a deal: Kim needs economic support and Abe wants to resolve the long-standing issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens.

Realistically, the best the two sides can achieve is a cash-for-abductee agreement with a joint statement that features conciliatory language welcoming the ongoing diplomatic efforts between North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea. Certainly, this presents a narrow zone of possible agreement, and any deal is likely to crumble if North Korea holds fast to its desire for lifting sanctions or if Japan tries too hard to address denuclearization.