February 28, 2019 / 11:45 AM / 3 months ago

Japanese PM Abe says fully backs Trump over North Korea no deal

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to media after phone talks with U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) after second North Korea-U.S. summit, at Abe's residence in Tokyo, Japan February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday he fully backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to end his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without an agreement.

“I fully support President Trump’s decision not to make the easy choice,” Abe said following a telephone call with Trump.

“I am determined that I must meet Chairman Kim next,” he added, reiterating his desire to have a summit with the North Korean leader.

Abe said Trump, at his meeting with Kim in Vietnam, had raised the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Koreans agents.

Abe has said Japan would not normalise diplomatic ties with Pyongyang or provide economic assistance until North Korea gave a full accounting of all those taken and return any abductees who are still alive.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Takaya Yamaguchi; writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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