North Korea and Japan Back to Table on Abductions
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 Posted: 09:45 PM JST
Japan and North Korea will go back to the table to talk about abductions of Japanese nationals on November 9, Japan's Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura, said today. Senior officials from both countries will meet in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. The talks are expected to take four days. Two previous meetings in Beijing brought no progress.
During a visit to Pyongyang by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September 2002, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il admitted that North Korean agents had kidnapped 13 Japanese. The Japanese had been used to train North Korean agents to act and look like Japanese nationals. Kim claimed that eight of the abductees were dead, five surviving kidnap victims were allowed to return to Japan.
Japan has not accepted the North Korean claims that the eight are dead, as much of the information supplied by North Korea turned out to be false or questionable. The Japanese government also insists that at least two more Japanese nationals were kidnapped. Private organizations in Japan even believe there may be hundreds of additional abductees. During the new talks the Japanese officials hope to collect more reliable information about the fate of the remaining abductees.
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