TOKYO/SEOUL, The head of South Korea's state intelligence agency on Monday briefed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the results of a South Korean presidential delegation's trip to Pyongyang last week.
Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIS) and a member of the delegation, arrived in Tokyo on Sunday.
At the outset of the meeting, Abe expressed his gratitude for a quick briefing on the issue.
"This is a good opportunity to let the world know that Japan-South Korea relations have become so close since the launch of the Moon Jae-in administration," the prime minister said via a translator.
The NIS chief said Moon believes the Japanese leader's role is more important than at any other time in denuclearizing the North and establishing a peace regime.
"In that sense, (Moon) thinks communication and cooperation between South Korea and Japan should be strengthened," Suh added.
Speaking in his capacity as a special envoy of the South Korean president to Japan, the NIS director highlighted the importance of joint efforts of Seoul and Tokyo to denuclearize the North.
"In addition, special envoy Suh stressed the need to come up with creative and various ways to preserve Chairman Kim Jong-un's commitment to complete denuclearization of North Korea that he recently reaffirmed," Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said in a press release.
Prime Minister Abe welcomed the outcome of the North Korea visit by the South Korean officials and expressed his willingness to personally meet with the North Korean leader as well.
"Prime Minister Abe expressed his willingness to resolve existing issues (between Japan and North Korea) by meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un while South Korea-North Korea and U.S.-North Korea dialogue continues," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
Suh's trip to Tokyo apparently was part of Seoul's efforts to elicit cooperation from regional powers on its approach toward Pyongyang, especially before the third Moon-Kim summit, slated to be held in Pyongyang from next Tuesday through Thursday.
Moon and Kim earlier met in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, then again on May 26.
National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation, made a separate trip to Beijing over the weekend to brief top Chinese officials on the matter.
It marked Suh's third trip to Tokyo as Moon's special envoy in just six months.
Shortly after traveling to Pyongyang in March, the NIS chief briefed Abe on the outcome of the trip in Tokyo. He met with Abe again in April for a briefing on the outcome of the first Panmunjom summit between the Korean leaders.
Meanwhile, the presidential office said the NIS chief also delivered a message of condolence from Moon to the Japanese leader and his people over the damage and casualties from recent typhoons and earthquakes.
Abe expressed gratitude for the message, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Source: Yonhap News Agency