Japan PM to visit US next month

ANI | Updated: Mar 09, 2018 12:28 IST

Tokyo [Japan], Mar 9 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said that he would be meeting with United States President Donald Trump next month.

In a telephone call with President Trump on Friday, Abe hailed the "change" in North Korea's stance saying such a dialogue with the US will lead to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

"I agreed with President Trump that this development (proposed US-North Korea talks) is the result of Japan, the US and South Korea, together with the international community, having continued to put a high level of pressure on North Korea," Abe was quoted by The Japan Times as telling President Trump over the phone.

"The solid position of Japan and the US that we will continue to put maximum pressure on North Korea until it takes concrete actions toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of its nuclear (weapons) and missiles is absolutely unwavering," he added.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said North Korea's offer of talks with President Trump is indicative of the Communist country's desire to abandon its nuclear programme and bat for peace in the Korean Peninsula.

A senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said recent developments between Washington D.C. and Pyongyang were "a bit quick."

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, however, added that for the proposed talks to take place, North Korea needed to abandon its nuclear programme.

On Thursday, President Trump accepted an invitation and agreed to meet Kim by May. However, he stated that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until the Communist country achieved denuclearisation.

President Trump received Kim's invitation from a South Korean delegation, led by National Security Office Chief Chung Eui-yong.

The South Korean delegation is on a two-day visit to update American officials on their recent talks with Kim in Pyongyang.

Other members of the delegation included Suh Hoon, Chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Chun Hae-sung, Vice Minister of Unification Ministry, Yun Kun-young, a Cheong Wa Dae (presidential Blue House) official, and Kim Sang-gyun, a senior NIS Director.

Envoys of South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Pyongyang earlier this week and were hosted at a welcome dinner by Kim at the headquarters of the ruling Worker's Party.

The two Koreas also agreed to hold summit-level talks at the border village of Panmunjom, located in the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which acts as the de facto border between North and South Korea. (ANI)