North Korea says Japan’s prime minister offered to meet with leader Kim Jong Un soon

March 25, 2024

North Korea said Monday that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida offered to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “as soon as possible,” but stressed that prospects for their countries’ first summit in about 20 years would depend on Tokyo tolerating its weapons program and ignoring its past abductions of Japanese nationals.

Japan acknowledged it has been trying to arrange a bilateral summit but dismissed as “unacceptable” North Korea’s preconditions for it, dimming the likelihood for a quick realization of the Kishida-Kim meeting.

Observers say Kim wants improved ties with Japan as a way to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its allies, while Kishida wants to use possible progress in the abduction issue, a highly emotional issue for Japan, to boost his declining approval rating at home. After admitting in 2002 that it had abducted 13 Japanese nationals, North Korea allowed five to return home but said the others had died. Japan believes some were still alive

all best wishes to see a successful meeting and hearing good news

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