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Abe to talk with Trump ahead of Kim summit

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to hold a telephone conference with U.S. President Donald Trump shortly to coordinate policies on North Korea, ahead of the second summit between Washington and Pyongyang, informed sources said Wednesday.

“It may be difficult to hold a [face-to-face Japan-U.S.] summit, but I want to coordinate policies closely over the phone on North Korea’s nuclear, missile and abduction issues,” Abe told a parliamentary meeting.

Abe’s remarks were made after Trump unveiled plans on Tuesday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Feb. 27-28.

Abe plans to tell Trump of the importance of having North Korea present detailed measures to abandon its nuclear and missile development, the sources said.

The prime minister also plans to ask the U.S. president to again bring up the issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese citizens, the sources said.

Trump raised the abduction issue during his first summit with Kim in Singapore in June last year, following requests from Abe during two rounds of trips to the United States.

At the parliamentary meeting, Foreign Minister Taro Kono also expressed hopes to hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss North Korea policies prior to the Trump-Kim summit.

Kono is considering visiting the United States for talks with Pompeo, or holding a phone conversation with him, sources familiar with the matter said.

Japan will closely coordinate policies with the United States toward the second U.S.-North Korea summit, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

Tokyo “hopes that last June’s U.S.-North Korea agreement, including Pyongyang’s commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, will be implemented completely and swiftly,” Suga said.

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