Kim Jong Un Willing to Rectify Relations With Japan, South Korea Says

President Moon's office says he addressed the North's abduction of Japanese nationals during his summit with Kim, claims the leader is willing to normalize ties with Tokyo

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in posing during a signing ceremony near the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom
STR/AFP

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

President Moon Jae-in's office stated Moon has briefed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday's summit with Kim. Moon told Abe he conveyed Japan's desire to normalize ties with North Korea after they resolve past issues between them.

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Moon's office claims Kim replied he is willing to negotiate with Japan. The office did not provide specific details but Abe reportedly said 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 other Japanese nationals have died, but their families insist the North's statement cannot be trusted.