Shinzo Abe wants to get on the Kim Jong Un bandwagon.
The Japanese prime minister, who has largely been left on the sidelines as the formerly isolated leader of North Korea has stepped up his international relations, confirmed Saturday that he has launched an effort to arrange a summit with Kim. The move comes days after President Trump held a historic summit with the North’s dictator.
In a television interview, Abe said his government has contacted the North Korean side “through various channels” in a bid to arrange a meeting.
During the talks with Trump on Tuesday in Singapore, Kim reportedly said he was open to meeting with Japan.
Abe even said Tokyo will pay some of the costs of North Korean denuclearization – if Pyongyang helps resolve the emotional issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted by the North in the 1970s and 1980s to help train the North’s spies.
The contentious matter has seen little movement, even as other diplomatic issues have advanced in recent months. The Japanese government officially lists 17 people as abductees, but suspects dozens more were snatched.
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