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Japan PM Abe says North Korean move is 'forward motion,' but results essential

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves at the conclusion of a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday he welcomed North Korea’s statement that it was suspending all nuclear and missile tests as “forward motion” but that this must lead to verifiable denuclearisation.

“This announcement is forward motion that I’d like to welcome,” Abe told reporters.

“But what’s important is that this leads to complete, verifiable denuclearisation. I want to emphasise this.”

Japan has advocated a policy of maximum pressure on North Korea to get the reclusive state to abandon its weapons programme.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Robert Birsel