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TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed his willingness on Monday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in order to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the future of Tokyo-Pyongyang ties, noting that there are no specific arrangements made regarding the talks.
"I should meet with Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea Kim Jong Un myself, hold a dialogue with him and solve the problems of nuclear and missile weapons, the issue of abducted people, and build new Japanese-North Korean relations," Abe said at a press conference, dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of atomic bombings of Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has significantly improved over the last months, with Kim having held several rounds of talks with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in and a summit with US President Trump in Singapore. During the June 12 summit, Kim and Trump reached an agreement that required Pyongyang to denuclearize in exchange for a freeze on the US-South Korean military drills and eventual sanctions relief.
A number of Japanese citizens were abducted by North Korean agents during a six-year period from 1983 to 1997. The issue of the kidnapped Japanese citizens remains unresolved today and continues to be a key roadblock in bilateral relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.
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