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(LEAD) Moon offers to broker N. Korea-Japan talks

All Headlines 14:56 April 29, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with Seoul presidential office's briefing)

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered to broker a dialogue between North Korea and Japan, relaying both sides' willingness to improve ties to each other, the presidential office said Sunday.

Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had telephone talks earlier in the day to discuss the result of the summit between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

Moon told Abe that he had relayed Japan's hopes to normalize ties with Pyongyang during the summit. He also told Abe that Kim is willing to meet and talk with the Japanese leader.

"President Moon offered to lay a bridge between North Korea and Japan," presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

Moon and Abe agreed that the inter-Korean summit laid the firm ground for a successful summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Abe highly evaluated the two Korean leaders' commitment to complete denuclearization, adding he hoped to see the words lead to action.

The spokesman said the two leaders expressed hopes that the upcoming meeting between Trump and Kim would produce concrete measures for denuclearization.

Also on Sunday, South Korea's National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon met Abe to brief him on the result of the inter-Korean summit.

Earlier in the day, Abe expressed his gratitude to Moon for addressing the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North during the inter-Korean summit.

"President Moon talked about North Korea's abduction of Japanese people and the relations between Japan and North Korea during his summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un," Abe told reporters after the phone conversation. "I thank President Moon for his sincere effort."

He did not give details about what was discussed between the two Koreas' leaders. Abe said he would try to ensure the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit makes progress in resolving the issue.

Abe also said he and Moon agreed that the two countries will work together to have North Korea take concrete actions for complete denuclearization.

The United States, Japan and South Korea will make unified efforts toward the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear arms, ballistic missiles and all weapons of mass destruction, he added.

Also on Sunday, South Korea's National Intelligence Service

Moon and Kim held the third-ever inter-Korean summit south of the Military Demarcation Line at the border truce village of Panmunjom. In the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, they reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to work toward a formal end of the Korean War within this year.

The leaders also agreed the two countries will halt all hostile acts, enhance high-level communications and resume the reunions of separated families, among other things.


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