Japan is working to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong Un after the North Korean leader said he was open to talks, local media reported yesterday.
The Sankei Shimbun said Kim discussed the possibility during historic talks Tuesday with US President Donald Trump.
"During the summit with Trump, Kim told Trump 'I can meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe'," the Sankei reported.
Japan wants the talks to push the emotive issue of citizens abducted by the North decades ago, which has seen little movement despite a whirlwind of diplomacy in recent months.
Abe yesterday repeated a pledge to push for dialogue with Pyongyang on the issue as he met families of abductees.
"I will face (North Korea) directly and work toward resolving the abduction issue," he told the families.
"Japan has to take the initiative to resolve the issue," he said, adding that the summit would be "meaningless if it yields no progress on the abduction issue".