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North Korea proposes Japan to visit Pyongyang for abduction talks

September 30, 2014, 18:27 UTC+3 TOKYO
Japan and North Korea held consultations on the issue of abducted Japanese citizens in China
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 A mass rally in support of the leadership in Pyongyang

A mass rally in support of the leadership in Pyongyang

© AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin

TOKYO, September 30. /ITAR-TASS/. North Korea wants Japan’s government members to arrive in Pyongyang for studying the work of North Korea’s special commission to investigate the fate of abducted Japanese citizens, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday.

Japan and North Korea held consultations on this issue in the Chinese city of Shenyang. Director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asia and Oceania Affairs Bureau Junichi Ihara took part in the consultations.

Ihara told the Japanese premier about North Korea’s proposal. “Ihara told me that at the moment the investigation has not entered the stage to allow North Korea to submit any concrete results,” Abe said.

In May 2014 Japan and North Korea signed an agreement in Stockholm under which Pyongyang undertook the commitment to conduct a thorough investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens abducted in 1970’s-1980’s by North Korean secret services. Tokyo lists 12 nationals as having been abducted by North Korea.

Tokyo said it would lift some sanctions against Pyongyang once North Korea has given guarantees on thorough investigation.

In early 2000’s Pyongyang recognised the abduction of Japanese nationals. In essence North Korea abducted Japanese citizens to train spies. Five of them returned home in October 2002. Then Pyongyang said the issue was closed and other abducted people had died or never been in North Korea. Tokyo insisted the investigation should continue.

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