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Japan FM to voice N. Korea concerns in rare Seoul visit

AFP  |  Seoul 

Japan's was in for a rare visit today, armed with a list of issues wants to push onto the agenda of a looming summit between North and

The first such visit in more than two years comes at a time of frenetic diplomatic activity in Northeast Asia, ahead of the North's planned summits with South Korean Moon Jae-in and US

North Korea's Un met Chinese in his first overseas trip last month. has largely remained on the sidelines, with suggestions last month of a third summit between Kim and Japanese quickly petering out.

Instead, has found itself forced to rely on the US and to tackle its concerns regarding the North, which last year test-fired several missiles that flew over Japan, sparking security concerns.

Tokyo's top said "it is extremely important that Japan, the US and South Korea share information and coordinate closely" ahead of the two summits.

will meet with his South Korean counterpart in the morning. As well as Pyongyang's "nuclear and missile issues", Kono has said he will try to ensure that "the abduction issue will be talked about in the North-South summit".

He was referring to Japanese citizens abducted by the North's agents in the 1970s and 80s in a bid to train spies in Japanese language and customs before overseas missions. The North regularly excoriates over its brutal 1910-45 colonial rule of the

But ties between the South and have also remained sour for years due to controversy over historical issues left unresolved -- including Korean women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during War II.

has urged to take legal and moral responsibility, while Japan says that the issue was resolved when the two nations reached a controversial deal in 2015 to offer compensations to the victims.

Suga said Japan's would seek to boost a "forward-looking" bilateral relationship despite the row. Kim is set to meet Moon on April 27 for a third-ever summit between the two neighbours, and is expected to talk with Trump in May or early June.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 08:10 IST