Japan’s Abe to ask Trump to raise abductees in Kim talks

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday he would ask US President Donald Trump to raise the emotional issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in talks next week with Kim Jong-un.

Shinzo Abe met family members of abductees at his office ahead of a call planned for later this week with Trump, who is set to meet North Korea’s Kim for the second summit in Hanoi on Feb 27-28.

Abe has long sought to resolve the deeply emotive issue of Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korean agents during the Cold War era to train Pyongyang’s spies.

Pyongyang released what it said were the five survivors in 2002, and said eight others it admitted kidnapping had all died.

“During my telephone summit, I will deliver to President Trump ideas of ways to resolve the issue and would like him to convey them to Chairman Kim Jong-un,” Abe told the families.

“I won’t miss any chance” to resolve the issue, he added.

Trump said he discussed the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea in his first meeting with Kim, in Singapore earlier this year.