Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his readiness to hold a meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, without any preconditions.
“I am personally ready to meet President Kim Jong Un without any preconditions,” Suga said during a hypothetical conference organized Friday by the Center for Strategic and International Research in Washington. “I am determined to work on the front lines to solve the kidnapper’s issue and establish fruitful relations with North Korea.”
Suga has previously expressed his support for the approach of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding relations with North Korea, whose intelligence Tokyo says has kidnapped a group of Japanese citizens.
Japan seeks to address Japanese nationals who North Korean agents kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s and places this issue among its priorities.
North Korea admitted in 2002 the kidnapping of 13 Japanese citizens and allowed 5 of them to return to Japan.
Pyongyang says that the other 8 have died but has not provided evidence of their deaths. At the same time, Tokyo confirms that at least 17 Japanese citizens are still abducted and suspects that North Korean intelligence services have hidden dozens of others.