Japan and N Korea to reopen talks

Rare meeting to address the lingering row over abduction of Japanese citizens.

    Many Japanese question North Korea's claim that it  returned all of the citizens its agents abducted [EPA]

    The talks in the Chinese capital are expected to focus on the restarting of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons activities.

     

    They have been stalled since North Korea missed a deadline in December last year to declare all of its atomic programmes.

     

    However Komura was not optimistic the talks would lead to a breakthrough on the emotive kidnapping issue.

     

    "If the other side suddenly comes up with some kind of offer (on the abduction issue), of course that would be good. But I am not holding such high expectations from tomorrow's meeting," Kyodo News quoted Komura as saying.

     

    North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s.

     

    Pyongyang later sent some of the abductees home, claiming that the others had died.

     

    Japan has demanded more information and extended sanctions against North Korea that have been in place since it tested a nuclear weapon in 2006.

     

    Japan is party to the six nation negotiations aimed at persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons that also include the two Koreas, the US, China and Russia.

     

    The difficult diplomacy received a boost recently when North Korea handed over more than 8,000 pages of records to the US that reportedly shed light on its nuclear activities dating back to 1984.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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