Trump to bring up Japan’s abductees with Kim

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Washington, April 20 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has said he’d bring up Japan’s sensitive abductees issue when he meets North Korea top leader Kim Jong-un in an upcoming historic meeting.

“I suspect Trump will raise the subject if there is a meeting. Of course, his priority will be the three American hostages held by North Korea,” Xinhua news agency reported quoting Douglas Paal, Vice President for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“There have also been reports from North Korea that the regime believes the abductees question has been settled, so expectations for concrete results are low even though emotions still run high,” said Paal.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe concluded his two-day working visit to the US on Wednesday. During a meeting with Trump, Abe scored a major win when Trump promised he’d bring up the issue during the upcoming historic meeting with Kim.

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The issue has been ongoing for some 40 years.

“Trump should raise the issue of Japanese abductees with Kim, but in the context of a broader, lasting peace in the region,” said Troy Stangarone, senior director at the Korea Economic Institute, a Washington-based non-profit policy research institution.

“While the focus of the upcoming talks will be denuclearisation, if there is to be a sustainable peace in the region afterwards, North Korea will need to resolve issues such as the abductees in addition to denuclearising,” Stangarone told Xinhua.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West said that it would not be difficult for North Korea to address the abductees issue.

“It should be easy for North Korea to address the abductees issue. So I would anticipate progress there,” he said.

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