DPRK leader Kim Jong Un during the inter-Korean summit on Friday expressed his willingness to hold dialogue with Japan “at any time,” the ROK presidential office reported on Sunday.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a 45-minute phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from 1000 KST to brief him on the results of the North-South Korea summit.
Moon on Friday told Kim Jong Un that Abe “has the intention to talk with North Korea,” South Korean presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at a news briefing following the phone call.
“[Moon] especially told Abe that he delivered [Japan’s] hopes for the normalization of diplomatic relations between North Korea and Japan based on the settlement of the past,” spokesperson Kim told assembled media.
“Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un also said North Korea is willing to have a dialogue with Japan at any time,” President Moon reportedly told Prime Minister Abe during the phone call.
Abe, in response, said Tokyo would seek to hold a meeting with the North Koreans and asked Moon to assist him.
The South Korean President said he would “willingly” help facilitate talks between the two leaders.
Prime Minister Abe also said he “highly appreciated” that Moon and Kim had stated their shared goal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula in the Panmunjom Declaration on Friday.
“He especially described North’s movement as forward-looking, and hopes that the declaration will lead to specific steps,” the South Korean presidential spokesperson said.
Abe and Moon reportedly agreed that the statement would create the right circumstances for the success of an upcoming DPRK-U.S. summit.
The Japanese Prime Minister also thanked Moon for dispatching director of National Intelligence Service (NIS) Suh Hoon to Tokyo to debrief him on Friday’s summit.
The Blue House on Sunday said that Abe had requested that Moon send Suh during a phone call on Tuesday.
The director of the South Korean spy agency met Abe on Sunday between 1105 and 1235 local time, the ROK Presidential office said in a separate written statement.
Suh reportedly briefed Abe on the results of the South-North summit, Seoul’s assessment of the meeting, the significance of Panmunjom Declaration, and future plans for implementing inter-Korean agreements.
The Blue House said Abe showed “profound interest in the details of the meeting,” including in Kim Jong Un’s negotiating style.
The Japanese Prime Minister also asked Suh to assess the sincerity of the North’s willingness to denuclearize, plans for the implementation of the agreement, the process of preparing for the summit, and other details.
Seoul has not yet said whether Moon raised the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in his talks with Kim Jong Un, having promised to do so last week.
Abe told reporters, however, that Moon had discussed it with Kim during their meeting.
“I would like to thank (the South Korean president) for his sincerity,” Abe told media, in a statement carried by Kyodo News Agency.
Tokyo has so far identified 17 of its citizens to have been kidnapped by Pyongyang during the 1970s and 1980s – many of whom are believed to have been taken to the North to train spies.
Five of them returned to Japan following talks between then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and then-DPRK leader Kim Jong Il in 2002. 12 remain unaccounted for.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Inter-Korean Press Corps
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