Japan wants unconditional dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Tokyo has told the United States.
A top Japanese official met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Thursday, according to Kyodo news agency.
“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — without preconditions — to try and resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters after his meeting with Pompeo.
Tokyo has blamed Pyongyang for the abduction of 17 of its nationals.
The report said that Tokyo and Washington agreed to jointly seek a swift resolution to the abduction issue and to effect the full enforcement of UN sanctions on North Korea in tandem with the international community to force Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
The latest Japanese move to engage with North Korea comes amid heightened military drills by Pyongyang since last week.
Meanwhile, Japan slammed North Korea for its latest missile tests terming it a violation of UN resolutions.
Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said that North Korea’s tests of ballistic missiles “is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and is extremely regrettable”, according to daily The Mainichi.
“Based on our comprehensive analysis of the information, the government believes the projectiles launched by North Korea on Thursday were short-range ballistic missiles,” Iwaya added.
North Korea held two missile launch tests in less than a week inviting sharp reactions from South. However, the U.S. said it was still open to talks with Pyongyang following the missile tests.