June 12, 2018 / 9:32 AM / 6 months ago

Japan's Abe says Trump-Kim statement a step toward North Korea denuclearization

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to media after the news conference by the U.S. President Donald Trump, after the summit between the U.S. and North Korea in Singapore, at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the joint statement signed by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore as a first step in the denuclearization of North Korea.

“We see this as a step in a comprehensive resolution,” Abe said in Tokyo.

Japan wants North Korea to agree to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. In the joint statement Kim committed North Korea “to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Abe added that he “would like to thank the president (Trump) for raising the abduction issue,” referring to Japan’s demand that Pyongyang release any remaining Japanese people it abducted to train its spies.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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