Seoul says Kim wants to normalize Japan ties

World Desk : South Korea says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss normalizing relations with Japan.

President Moon Jae-in’s office says Moon has briefed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday’s summit with Kim.

Moon told Abe that he conveyed Japan’s desire to normalize ties with North Korea after resolving issues of “past history.” Moon’s office says Kim replied that he’s willing to negotiate with Japan.

The office didn’t provide specific details but Abe reportedly said that Moon addressed the North’s abduction of Japanese citizens during his meeting with Kim.

Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train its agents in Japanese language and culture in order to spy on South Korea. North Korea has acknowledged abducting 13 Japanese in the 1970s.

It allowed five of them to visit Japan in 2002 and they stayed. North Korea says eight others have died, but their families say the North’s statement cannot be trusted.

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