Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday stressed the need for "somebody" to talk to North Korean President Kim Jong Un in a bid to ease escalating tensions over Pyongyang's
nuclear weapons programme.
Duterte said he hoped that Japan, the United States, South Korea and China would consider sending a representative to sit down with Kim to avoid a nuclear war, which he said was "totally unacceptable."
"All world leaders agree that he's a dangerous man," Duterte told a press conference before leaving for a two-day official visit to Japan, referring to Kim. "But somebody has to talk to him."
"Somebody has to go there. Someone has to reach out and talk to him and say something like, friend, why don't you just join me at the table and talk about these things," Duterte said.
Duterte said he expects the North Korean issue to be a key topic during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as Japan's assistance for the rehabilitation of the southern Philippine city of Marawi.
Marawi has been devastated after five months of fighting between government forces and militants allied with the Islamic State terrorist group, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and over half a million displaced.
Duterte will also be meeting with Japanese business leaders during his trip, which will be his second visit to Japan as president of the Philippines, and pay a courtesy call on Emperor Akihito.
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