Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo held telephone talks on Monday and agreed to meet in February before the second summit between Trump and Kim, the Japanese Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.
"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 ministry said in a statement.
Pompeo explained to Kono the outcome of Trump's meeting with Kim Yong Chol, the Japanese ministry added.
It also reported that Kono and Pompeo had confirmed their readiness to cooperate for the fast resolution of the problem of the Japanese citizens abducted in the past by North Korean intelligence services.
According to Tokyo, 17 Japanese nationals were abducted by North Korean security agents and its associates in the 1970s and 1980s, and about 900 more disappeared under circumstances that could potentially involve North Korea's actions. Pyongyang recognized 13 instances of kidnapping Japanese citizens, five of whom were returned to Japan and the remaining eight died. It is believed that some of these Japanese citizens were abducted for the purpose of obtaining their identities, which were then used by North Korean penetration agents in South Korea. Other victims allegedly taught the Japanese language to North Korean intelligence personnel.
The Kyodo news agency reported last year that senior officials from Japanese and North Korean intelligence agencies held secret talks on the abductee issue in Mongolia on 6-8 October.
However, the tensed situation on the Korean Peninsula has improved since the beginning of last year. During this time, North Korean leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have held several meetings, while Kim even had a historic June summit with Trump in Singapore. This summit yielded an agreement stipulating that North Korea would make efforts to promote the complete denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for the United States and South Korea freezing their military drills as well as the potential removal of US sanctions.