Ahead of Trump Kim Summit, Japan Looks Forward to Resolve Abductees’ Issue with US’ Help
According to the announcement made by the White House, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be holding a summit for the second time. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Trump Kim Summit will be held at the end of February, without disclosing the details of the venue as of now.
Trump and North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol discussed the details about the upcoming summit in Washington on Friday.
On Monday, Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed over a telephonic conversation and agreed to meet in February prior the second Trump Kim Summit.
“Both ministers agreed to coordinate a proposal to hold talks between the foreign ministers of Japan and the United States in mid-February, if circumstances allow”, the Japanese ministry said in a statement.
The Japanese ministry also said that Pompeo had explained Kono the outcome of Trump and Yong-chol’s meeting.
Kono and Pompeo have also shown cooperation in resolving the problems of the Japanese citizens abducted in the past by North Korean intelligence services, as per the reports.
Washington-Pyongyang negotiations are being closely observed by Tokyo, as it waits to discuss with North Korea about the fate of abducted Japanese. On the other hand, according to North Korea, the problem has already been resolved in 2002, when it expressed regret to Japan and released five abducted Japanese.
As per Tokyo, North Korean intelligence and security agents abducted 17 Japanese nationals in between the 1970s and 1980s, and around 900 more vanished under the actions taken by North Korea. Pyongyang knows only of 13 such instances, out of which five were released and the remaining eight died. It is believed that the Japanese nationals were kidnapped to obtain their identities so that the North Korean penetration agents could misuse those identities in South Korea. The abducted nationals were also asked to teach Japanese to North Korean intelligence agents.
Over the period of past 10 years, North Korea has been under numerous UN sanctions for its ballistic missile and nuclear tests. The tensed situation at the Korean Peninsula has been a major topic of discussion among the US, North and South Korea. Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met several times to discuss the situation. The historic Trump Kim Summit last year in June in Singapore yielded an agreement that North Korea would denuclearise the peninsula and in return, the US and South Korea would freeze their military drills, along with the potential removal of US sanctions.
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