Abe, Xi agree to cooperate in tackling N. Korea nuclear issue

The Japan Times 

In a landmark telephone conversation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday agreed to closely cooperate in resolving the North Korean nuclear and missile issues and confirmed the importance of U.N. sanctions against the North to achieve that goal. In the first telephone talks ever between a Japanese prime minister and Chinese president -- demonstrating the rapidly warming ties between Asia's two biggest powers -- Abe and Xi welcomed the recent commitment by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in toward a "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two leaders also agreed to cooperate on resolving the abduction issue, a senior government official said. Xi's promise to help resolve the long-stalled issue, which involves Japanese abducted in the 1970s and 1980s, is positive news for Abe amid concerns Japan is being left behind by the five-way surge in diplomatic activity. Abe has said the issue is one of his top priorities.

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