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Japan willing to normalize ties with N. Korea – PM Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he is willing to talk directly with North Korea in a bid to resolve the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens and foster better ties with Pyongyang, AFP reported. “I wish to directly face North Korea and talk with them so that the abduction problem can be resolved quickly,” Abe said at a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump on Thursday. The US president promised to raise the highly sensitive issue of the Japanese nationals kidnapped by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at next week’s summit in Singapore. Abe said there was no change in Tokyo’s policy to pursue “real peace in Northeast Asia.” If Pyongyang “is willing to take steps” in the right direction, it will have a “bright future,” Abe said.