April 24, 2018 / 9:15 AM / a year ago

Japan's Abe says upcoming North Korea summits could mend ties between North, Japan

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters after he attends a cherry blossom viewing party at Shinjuku Gyoen park in Tokyo, Japan, April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

SEOUL (Reuters) - Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said success at upcoming summits North Korea has planned with South Korea and the United States could also mean North Korea and Japan could normalise ties, the South’s presidential Blue House said on Tuesday.

“The success of the two summits means North Korea’s nuclear and missiles issue as well as the issue of Japanese abductees in North Korea will be resolved, and in that case North Korea and Japan will be able to move on from the past and normalise ties,” Abe was cited as saying in a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Abe also asked Moon to raise the issue of Japanese abductees in North Korea during the inter-Korean summit on Friday, Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

In response, Moon told Abe he plans to tell North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that resolving the abductees issue will contribute in creating peace in Northeast Asia.

Reporting by Christine Kim and Soyoung Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill

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