Japan and North Korea will resume government-to-government negotiations for the first time since November 2012.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the two countries have agreed to meet in Beijing on March 30 and 31.

The agreement was reached at informal talks this week between Japanese and North Korean foreign ministry officials in Shenyang, China.

The officials were attending a meeting of the two countries' Red Cross societies.

Japan and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations.

They held talks in 2012 during a brief warming of relations, but those ended after North Korea launched a rocket in December of that year.

A major issue for Japan is the fate of at least a dozen Japanese who it says were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

Source: Associated Press