November 28, 2005

Japan, N.Korea talks may resume “soon”–report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and North Korea are likely to meet
soon for talks on long-standing disputes that have prevented
the Asian neighbours from establishing diplomatic ties,
Japanese media said on Monday.

Two days of talks early this month ended without conclusive
agreement on key issues including North Korea's kidnapping of
Japanese citizens decades ago.

Kyodo news agency quoted Japanese vice foreign minister
Shotaro Yachi as saying that the talks could take place before
the resumption of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear arms
programmes, widely expected in January.

"The chance of Japan-North Korea talks resuming before the
six-party talks is quite high," he was quoted as saying.

Yachi was quoted as saying he hoped they could be held as
soon as possible.

Foreign Ministry officials were not immediately available
to comment.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told a senior
Japanese official on Friday that he expected the next round of
six-way talks to take place in January, Kyodo reported.

Talks between Japan and North Korea earlier this month in
Beijing centred on the abduction of Japanese to help train
North Korean spies, and the issue of reparations for Japan's
often brutal colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to

North Korea has admitted abducting 13 people in the 1970s
and 1980s. Five of them have returned to Japan with their
children, and Pyongyang says the other eight are dead.