Japan, S Korea welcome Trump-Kim statement

Agencies
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Singapore Trump Kim Summit

The joint statement signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un has been welcomed by Japan and Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has welcomed the joint statement signed by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore as a first step in the denuclearisation 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 denuclearisation. In the joint statement Kim committed North Korea "to work towards complete denuclearisation 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.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in vowed to write "new history" with North Korea, praising Kim's decision to hold the summit with the US.

"Leaving dark days of war and conflict behind, we will write a new chapter of peace and co-operation," Moon said in a statement released by his office.

"We will be there together with North Korea along the way."

Moon's comments came after earlier caution from the presidential office, saying it was seeking clarity after Trump pledged to stop joint military exercises with Seoul.

"At this point, we need to find out the precise meaning or intentions of President Trump's remarks," a Blue House spokesman said.

Russia gave a positive assessment of the deal between Trump and Kim, but "the devil is in the detail", TASS news agency reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS that Russia is ready to assist in implementing the deal - to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula - and hopes settling the nuclear crisis will unblock normal economic co-operation.

Iran warned Kim that Trump could nullify any nuclear deal with North Korea.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, as saying: "We are facing a man who revokes his signature while abroad.

"We don't know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning back home."

The US pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May.