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Japan PM hails Trump-Kim agreement as 'first step'

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Japan's today welcomed a document signed by North Korea's at an unprecedented summit with US as a "first step" towards denuclearisation.

Speaking briefly hours after Un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the US had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by

"Through this US-summit, Un's intent for complete denuclearisation of the was confirmed in writing," Abe told reporters.

"I support this as a first step to the comprehensive resolution of issues concerning "

Kim and Trump signed a document after their talks in which the North Korean reaffirmed his commitment to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", without giving further details.

It made no reference to other weapons capabilities, including the missiles that has fired over

The document also refers to the repatriation of the remains of prisoners of war and those killed in conflict, but makes no specific reference to people abducted by North Korea.

The issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help train its spies has long soured already strained relations between and

The Japanese has officially listed 17 people as abductees, but there are strong suspicions that dozens more citizens were snatched to train Pyongyang's spies in the Japanese language and culture.

has repeatedly called for the issue to be raised in discussions with Pyongyang, and Trump said at a press conference on this afternoon that he had discussed the issue with Kim.

"I highly appreciate the fact that Trump firmly touched upon what I told him recently about the abduction issue which is very important to us, to Japan," Abe said.

"I want to hear the details by phone (from Trump). I will continue aiming to resolve concerns such as the abduction, nuclear and missile issues," he added.

has maintained a hardline position on North Korea despite a whirlwind of diplomacy towards Pyongyang in recent months, and has been left largely on the sidelines as and the have held talks with Kim.

Abe has suggested recently he could talk with Kim directly in an attempt to resolve the abduction issue, though there has been no substantive movement thus far on potential talks.

A high-ranking Japanese said has no plan to provide financial assistance to Pyongyang "unless the abduction issue moves forward", according to public broadcaster

"From now on, there will be various kinds of bargaining toward a Japan-North Korea summit," the unnamed said.

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

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 17:20 IST