Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly considering holding a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite earlier reservations about dialog with Pyongyang.
Japanese local media cited an unnamed government source as saying on Tuesday that Tokyo was considering seeking a summit between Abe and Kim.
The development came almost a week after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had accepted an invitation by Pyongyang to sit down with Kim without any preconditions. One of the South Korean official who had earlier met with Kim and who had delivered the invitation to Trump in Washington also met with Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Tokyo is said to be considering using a future meeting to discuss the fate of citizens that it alleges were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the local media.
Abe has previously told Seoul that Japan wanted any demilitarization talks with Pyongyang to address the issue of the alleged abductions.
“A resolution of the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues is Japan’s core policy,” the prime minister said earlier. “North Korea must match its words with actions.”
Japan seemed to have early reservations about talks with North Korea. Shortly after Trump’s announcement, Abe said Tokyo would continue “utmost pressure” on Pyongyang to bring about denuclearization.
This is while China and Russia both welcomed the potential meeting between Trump and Kim.
Analysts attributed Tokyo’s cold response to fears that if Pyongyang “sits down with Washington, it will have absolutely no interest whatsoever in sitting down with Japan.”
Abe’s consideration of a meeting with Kim may be an attempt to catch up.
Japan’s English-language news service Jiji Press said on Tuesday that the government in Tokyo feared being left out in the dealings with the North if talks proceeded between Pyongyang and Seoul or Washington without its involvement.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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