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US gives tacit nod to Japan easing North Korea sanctions

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo on July 3, 2014The United States offered a tacit approval Thursday to Tokyo’s easing of some sanctions on North Korea, saying it can “understand” Japan’s efforts to resolve abductions of its nationals. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will revoke some of its unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang as a reward for the secretive state’s progress in its pledge to reinvestigate the cases of Japanese citizens snatched in the 1970s and 1980s. The United States maintains sweeping sanctions on North Korea, and US lawmakers have moved toward toughening them further, but Washington appears to have opted against publicly objecting to Tokyo’s easing of their restrictions on Pyongyang.

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