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PM Abe, GOJ officials comment on U.S.-DPRK summit; President Trump and PM Abe to speak by phone shortly

TV Asahi, TBS, and Fuji TV reported today on comments given by Prime Minister Abe to reporters this morning on the surprise meeting between President Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ yesterday. Abe was shown saying: “Japan has supported the U.S.-DPRK dialogue process since the U.S.-DPRK summit in Singapore. We hope that the latest summit will lead to some progress.” TV Asahi quoted an unnamed Japanese government official as stating that is a “good thing” that there has been a new development, expressing a positive view on the resumption of denuclearization talks. However, he said that it will be difficult to arrange direct talks between Abe and Kim while things are moving forward between the U.S. and North Korea. The network reported that Abe is expected to speak with the President over the phone shortly.

 

NTV reported that another GOJ official said the only thing that was decided at the latest summit was that the stalled bilateral talks will be resumed and it is uncertain whether this will produce any concrete results. This official also commented that the summit was a political gesture for the purpose of the U.S. presidential election and that it is inconceivable that this meeting alone will cause U.S.-DPRK relations to go smoothly. He reportedly indicated that the two leaders merely agreed to resume working-level talks and it remains to be seen whether any progress can be made in the process toward North Korea’s denuclearization. He also said that this new development “cannot possibly be bad” for the abduction issue. Another government official was quoted as saying that it would be desirable for Japan-DPRK talks to proceed in parallel with the U.S.-DPRK negotiations.

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