US-North Korea summit: Shinzo Abe terms agreement between Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un as ‘first step’ towards denuclearisation

Tokyo: Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday welcomed a document signed by North Korea's leader at an unprecedented summit with US president Donald Trump as a "first step" towards denuclearisation.

Speaking briefly hours after Kim Jong-un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the US leader had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang.

"Through this US-North Korea summit, Kim Jong-un's intent for complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was confirmed in writing," Abe told reporters.

Kim and Trump signed a document after their talks in which the North Korean leader reaffirmed his commitment to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", without giving further details.

It made no reference to other weapons capabilities, including the missiles that North Korea has fired over Japan.

The document also refers to the repatriation of the remains of prisoners of war and those killed in conflict, but makes no specific reference to people abducted by North Korea.

The issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help Pyongyang train its spies has long soured already strained relations between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

The Japanese government has officially listed 17 people as abductees, but there are strong suspicions that dozens more citizens were snatched to train Pyongya...

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