Tokyo, Oct 4: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said he is determined to hold a face-to-face meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to discuss the issue of abduction of Japanese nationals to Pyongyang.
“I am determined to meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un face to face, with no preconditions, to resolve the all-important abduction issue,” Abe said in a policy speech at the beginning of a parliamentary session, according to Reuters.
North Korea admitted in 2002 its agents abducted about 13 Japanese decades before. Tokyo says 17 Japanese nationals were kidnapped, from which five had been repatriated. Whereas, North Korea says eight of them are dead and another four never entered the nation.
Abe has vowed to pursue actions to repatriate all abducted Japanese nationals by North Korea. Abe’s desire to hold a meeting with Kim comes in defiance of the recent provocation by North Korea.
On Thursday, North Korea said it had successfully conducted a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), what they called a necessary step in order to contain international forces’ threat to the nation and deepen its self-defence mechanism.
The launch, called to be most provocating since it resumed negotiations with the US, came ahead of the resumption of working-level dialogues between the United States and North Korea. The test was believed to be a reminder by Pyongyang of its nuclear weapon capability it had been aggressively developing.
State-run KCNA news agency reported N Korean leader Kim Jong-un “sent warm congratulations” to the experts who conducted the test and indicated Kim was not at the side when the launch took place.
South Korea’s military said it had identified the launch of a missile that flew 450 km (280 miles) and arrived at an elevation of 910 km (565 miles). It was likely a Pukguksong-class weapon, as the North’s previous submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) were known, that is being worked on.
Abe condemned the Wednesday missile launch, calling it a violation of the United Nations (UN) security council resolution.