Millennium Post

Japan PM vows talks with N Korea over ‘kidnapping row’

Japan’s prime minister vowed on Sunday to seek talks with Pyongyang in a bid to settle the nagging issue of North Korea’s kidnapping of Japanese, without risking its alliance with Washington and Seoul.

Shinzo Abe made the comment after a surprise visit to North Korea by one of his advisers last week has irritated the United States and South Korea as a possible damper to their efforts to forge a united front against Pyongyang.

‘I want to pursue negotiations or dialogue’ with North Korea, he told reporters in Fukuoka, southern Japan, according to Japanese media.

‘I will definitely try to realise the return home of all the kidnap victims, the search for truth behind the cases and the handover of the abductors during the Abe government,’ he said.

But he added Japan will also continue seeking a ‘comprehensive solution’ to the abduction issue along with North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions in concerted efforts with allies.

The adviser, Isao Iijima, returned home via Beijing on Saturday after the four-day visit to Pyongyang where he discussed with North Korean officials ways to resolve the long-pending abduction issue, which has derailed bilateral talks to improve ties.

Iijima told North Korean officials that Tokyo ‘would not make any move.’
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