Ex - Abductee: Abduction Issue At Crucial Stage

Ex-abductee: Abduction issue at crucial stage

A Japanese man who was previously kidnapped and taken to North Korea says the abduction issue is coming to a crucial stage, following the June 12th US-North Korea summit.

Kaoru Hasuike delivered a speech in the Japanese city of Akita on Saturday. He was kidnapped and taken to the North in 1978, and returned home 24 years later, following the Japan-North Korea summit in 2002.

Hasuike said the prospect for the North's denuclearization is now in sight. He said he believes a big chance will also come to resolve the abduction issue.

Hasuike said he thinks Japanese and North Korean officials will start arranging talks on the issue.

He noted Pyongyang claims that 8 of the 12 abductees recognized by the Japanese government have, died and that the remaining 4 never entered the North.

He said it is very likely that Pyongyang will try to dodge Japan's request to let all the abductees return home.

Hasuike urged the Japanese government to carefully consider tactics to prepare for negotiations with the North.

He said the government should avoid taking time to review a North Korean report on its own investigation into the fate of the abductees.

He said it should try to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to return the abductees and advance relations between Japan and the North.