May 25, 2018 / 5:51 PM / a month ago

Japan's Abe says efforts to clinch U.S.-North Korea summit must continue

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he regretted the cancellation of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and said the world should keep working to ensure such a meeting can happen.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia May 25, 2018. Mikhail Metzel/TASS/Host Photo Agency/Pool via REUTERS

Trump dangled the possibility on Friday that a June 12 summit with Kim could still take place, just a day after he cancelled the meeting citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility”.

Speaking at an economic forum in the Russian city of St Petersburg, Abe said a summit could be a key factor in peace talks on the Korean peninsula after years of tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, but he also cautioned:

“Dialogue for the sake of dialogue is senseless.”

Abe said countries should also try to ensure that Pyongyang continued taking action on its nuclear weapons programme.

The Japanese premier said North Korea should be obliged to meet certain conditions, such as denuclearisation, the return of abducted people and fulfilling U.N. resolutions, before being allowed to discuss long-term partnership with other countries.

Abe said North Korea should make the right choice so that its people can live in prosperity and that it was very important that Pyongyang fulfilled all United Nations resolutions on the full denuclearisation of the country.

Reporting by Christian Lowe, Denis Pinchuk and Katya Golubkova; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Gareth Jones

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