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Japan May Provide Economic Aid to N Korea If Nuclear Issue Settled - Minister

© AP Photo / Silke Buhr/World Food ProgramIn this May 9, 2018 photo provided by the World Food Program (WFP), children eat a meal at a nursery and kindergarten where WFP provides food assistance in Sinwon county in North Korea's South Hwanghae province
In this May 9, 2018 photo provided by the World Food Program (WFP), children eat a meal at a nursery and kindergarten where WFP provides food assistance in Sinwon county in North Korea's South Hwanghae province - Sputnik International
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TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan will be ready to provide economic assistance to Pyongyang if it settles its nuclear problem and releases Japanese citizens forcibly held in the country, Japanse Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday.

"If North Korea solves the problems of nuclear and missile programs, as well as the problem of kidnapped and forcibly held Japanese citizens, Japan will be ready for normalization of diplomatic relations and offering economic assistance to North Korea," Kono said at a press conference ahead of his upcoming visit to the United States.

Kono noted that his visit to the United States would last from June 6 to June 9 and would be devoted to clarifying the Japanese-US bilateral agenda in light of the upcoming US-North Korea summit.

READ MORE: Japan Defense Chief Warns Against Rewarding North Korea for Willingness to Talk

Ri Yong Gil, right, poses at Pyongyang Airport in 2013. - Sputnik International
Previously ‘Executed’ North Korean Official Promoted to Military Chief
The first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12 in Singapore time, according to the White House spokesperson.

The past several months have seen a surge in diplomatic activity on the Korean Peninsula with officials from China, Japan, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States meeting to discuss the issues related to de-nuclearization of Pyongyang.

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