Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has embarked on a trip to the United States.  

Ahead of his departure on Tuesday, Abe told reporters that during his trip, he hopes to affirm bilateral solidarity on North Korea and economic issues as well as demonstrate that the Japan-U.S. alliance is strong. 

He also said he wants to confirm that maximum pressure will be kept on the North for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North’s nuclear weapons program. 

In particular, Abe said the issue of Japanese abductees in the North would be the most important topic and vowed to make progress on the issue during his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.