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21 August
Wednesday

World

Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong-un to meet soon

This scenario became more likely after the failed negotiations of the US and the DPRK in Hanoi

Photo: AFP

/NOVOSTIVL/ North Korea may begin making contact with Japan, sources close to the matter suggested Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed willingness to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "without conditions". This article appeared in The Japan Times.

North Korea has criticized Abe for using the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the country’s agents "for political purposes", but Kim might try to get closer to Japan, a U.S. ally, as talks with U.S. President Donald Trump are deadlocked, the sources said.

In early March, the Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang’s most influential newspaper, attributed the collapse of the second U.S.-North Korea summit in February in Hanoi to Abe’s having asked Trump to raise the abduction issue at the meeting.

"Japan committed too much crime to be dealt with by the DPRK and nothing can gain from the dwarfs clinging to the coattail of the U.S.," the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party said, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

A North Korean source, meanwhile, said, "We have realized that Abe and Trump have close ties". A diplomatic source also said, "We have heard from the United States that Trump is surrounded by enemies but he listens actively to Abe’s opinion".

With Kim struggling to move ahead with denuclearization talks with Trump, North Korea has become aware of Abe’s presence, the sources said.

Under the historic 2002 Pyongyang Declaration, Japan and North Korea agreed to make "every possible effort for an early normalization of relations", and that Japan will extend economic cooperation to the North after ties are normalized.

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