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    Tokyo (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit the United States from April 17 to 20 and ask personally US President Donald Trump to bring up the issue of past North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens during upcoming US-North Korea talks, local media reported Monday.

    "I will request in person that President Trump raise the abduction issue, which is the most important question [for Japan], during an upcoming US-North Korean summit," Abe said, as quoted by Japan’s Kyodo news agency.

    Abe’s visit to the United States will take place ahead of a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for April 27, which will be followed by Trump’s meeting with Kim, which is expected to take place at the end of May.

    In early March, a high-ranking South Korean delegation visited North Korea for talks with the North Korean leader. Upon the delegation's return, the South Korean presidential office announced that Seoul and Pyongyang had reached a historic agreement on holding the third ever summit of the countries’ leaders.

    READ MORE: Tokyo Asks Seoul to Help Organize Abe-Kim Summit — Reports

    Moon also voiced the idea of holding a trilateral summit to discuss the issue of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula in light of last year’s nuclear test and ballistic missile launches carried out by North Korea.

    In 2002, North Korea admitted that in a period between the 1970s and the 1980s it kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train them as spies, while Tokyo officially identified 17 people as having been abducted. The same year, five of them returned to Japan, however, Tokyo insists on a thorough investigation and a search for the rest of the missing Japanese nationals.


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    Tags:
    abduction, Shinzo Abe, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan, United States
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