Japan, N Korea hold first bilateral talks since 2008
Beijing: For the first time in four years, Japan and North Korea held intergovernmental discussions here Wednesday, raising expectations that the nations -- deeply suspicious of each other -- would be able to resolve some of their disputes.
Diplomats of the two nations met at the working-level meeting in here and discussed the issue of retrieving the remains of Japanese soldiers who died in northern part of the Korean Peninsula during World War II.
The two-day meeting in Beijing is widely being looked upon as an opportunity for Tokyo to reopen talks on the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents decades ago, a major hurdle in bilateral ties.
In 2002, North Korea had admitted that its agents had kidnapped several of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to help train spies in their language and culture. Five of the abductees had been released and returned to Japan later.
However, Tokyo believes that Pyongyang had not completely been honest on the fate of abducted Japanese citizens and therefore continues to demand answers.
Japan claims that 17 nationals, including five who were repatriated, were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.
Both the nations had agreed on a reinvestigation in 2008, but North Korea failed to be cooperative.
Japan is also suspicious about North Korea`s past ballistic missile tests as well as its underground nuclear experiments in 2006 and 2009.
On the other hand, North Korea has remained apprehensive about Japan`s military alliance with the US the treatment of ethnic Koreans in Japan.
In the talks, Japan is being represented by Director of the Northeast Asia Division (Foreign Ministry) Keiichi Ono and North Korea by Ryu Song Il, a Foreign Ministry official dealing with Japan affairs was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.
The meeting is also the first between the two countries under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, who succeeded his father Kim Jong Il last December, and the government Democratic Party of Japan that came in power in 2009.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Ajinkya Rahane to captain India on Zimbabwe tour; Dhoni, Kohli rested
- Shiv Sena slams HC order banning erection of pandals on roads
- Kejriwal's electricity bill exceeds Rs 1 lakh in two months: RTI
- Top leader of NSCN(K) arrested for Manipur attacks by NIA
- Vijender Singh turns professional boxer, to miss 2016 Rio Olympics
- India vs Zimbabwe: Ajinkya Rahane to lead; MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli rested
- Chinese military research academy praises India's main battle tank Arjun, says it's 'very good'
- Gangster Abu Salem ready to tie the knot with girl seeking to marry him
- Vijender Singh brings down curtains on India career, turns professional
- Manipur ambush: Key NSCN(K) leader involved in killing of 18 Army personnel arrested by NIA