TOKYO - US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte held talks Friday with Japanese leaders on a breakthrough nuclear deal with North Korea, which Tokyo has refused to fund.
Negroponte, on his first trip since taking his post, was starting an Asian tour that will also take him to China and South Korea.
“Obviously we talked about the Korean peninsula, Russia, China and our strong bilateral relationship,” Negroponte told reporters after initial discussions ahead of a meeting with Foreign Minister Taro Aso.
North Korea agreed in a six-nation pact on February 13 to shut a key nuclear reactor in exchange for badly needed fuel aid.
Japan has refused to fund the agreement due to a dispute over Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese civilians.
US Vice President Dick Cheney assured close ally Japan that he understood the concerns about the kidnapping row during a visit last week.