Japan hails Trump-Kim agreement as 'first step'

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday welcomed a document signed by North Korea's leader at an unprecedented summit with US President Donald Trump as a “first step” towards denuclearisation.

Speaking briefly after Kim Jong- Un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the US leader said he had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang.

“Through this US-North Korea summit, Chairman Kim Jong-un's intent for complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was confirmed in writing,” Abe told reporters.

“I support this as a first step to the comprehensive resolution of issues concerning North Korea.”

Kim and Trump signed a document after their talks in which the North Korean leader reaffirmed his commitment to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, without giving further details.

It made no reference to other weapons capabilities, including the missiles that North Korea has fired over Japan.

The document also refers to the repatriation of the remains of prisoners of war and those killed in conflict.

But it makes no specific reference to people abducted by North Korea — something Japan has long lobbied for.

The issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help Pyongyang train its spies has long soured already strained relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

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