Shigeo Iizuka, whose sister was abducted by North Korea and brought to that country 39 years ago, has thanked President Donald Trump for listening to him and other relatives of abductees, and expressed hope that the meeting would lead to a breakthrough on the issue.

Iizuka, who is 79, and relatives of seven other abductees met Monday with Trump and sought his help in bringing their loved ones home.

Iizuka's sister, Yaeko Taguchi, disappeared in 1978 at the age of 22, leaving behind two small children.

North Korea in 2002 acknowledged for the first time abducting 13 Japanese citizens, saying eight of them had died, without providing proof. The North allowed five others to visit Japan later that year and they stayed.