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Japan's Abe tells South Korea's Lee cooperation is key on North Korea

South Korea's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon meets with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan October 24, 2019, in this photo released by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday the two countries were important neighbours and it was important to work together to address the issue of North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Abe also told Lee that relations between Japan and South Korea were in a very severe situation and they should not be left that way, according to a statement issued by the Japanese government.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Christian Schmollinger