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North Korea Says Japan’s PM Offered to Meet Kim Soon

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his intention to hold a summit with Kim Jong-un…reports Asian Lite News

A summit meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would only be possible if Tokyo make a political decision “in actuality,” Yonhap News agency reported on Monday citing the influential sister of the North Korea’s supreme leader.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his intention to hold a summit with Kim Jong-un, an English-language statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted Kim Yo-jong, who serves as the vice department director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, Yonhap said.

“Shortly ago, Kishida, through another channel, conveyed his intention to personally meet the President of the State Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as soon as possible,” Kim Yo-jong said, according to the Seoul-based news agency which cited KCNA.

Yonhap citing KCNA reported Kim as saying, “If Japan truly wants to improve the bilateral relations and contribute to ensuring regional peace and stability as a close neighbor of the DPRK, it is necessary for it to make a political decision for strategic option conformed to its overall interests.”

Meanwhile, Kishida said in parliament on Monday that his administration has lobbied for a possible meeting with the North Korean leader, though he is not aware of the report. The prime minister stressed the importance of summit talks to secure the return of Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang in the past, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

In 2002, Kim’s father, then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, met with then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Pyongyang, and admitted that North Korean agents kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train spies in Japanese culture and language.

North Korea then allowed five of those abducted to make a temporary visit to their homeland, saying eight others were dead.

Japan refused to return the five and called on the North to repatriate their family members in the North.

Japan has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Kim stressed that North Korea will not be a security threat to Japan in any case should Japan respect North Korea’s sovereignty and security in a fair and equal manner, according to the KCNA. (ANI)

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