Japan, North Korea to resume talks Nov 3 in Beijing
Updated: 2005-10-26 17:13
Japan and North Korea will resume bilateral talks on November 3 in Beijing
following a one-year suspension, Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura
Bilateral talks at government level have been held up since late last year
when Japan accused North Korea of lying over the fate of Japanese kidnapped by
But Japanese and North Korean delegates agreed to resume talks in their joint
effort to take steps to normalize relations when they met on the sidelines of
talks in Beijing on the North's nuclear program last month.
"Japan and North Korea will hold bilateral talks on November 3 in Beijing,"
Machimura told a news conference Wednesday.
North Korea admitted in 2002 that its agents kidnapped Japanese in the 1970s
and 1980s to train North Korean spies in Japanese language and culture.
The North declared the issue settled after repatriating five kidnap victims
along with their families following trips by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to
Pyongyang in 2002 and 2004.
The North said, to Japan's skepticism, that another eight kidnap victims were
Koizumi, who was re-elected last month in a landslide, has invested political
capital in engaging the North and has said he wants to establish diplomatic
relations by the time he leaves office in September 2006.
He has resisted calls within his party and from families of kidnap victims to
impose economic sanctions to force North Korea to come clean on the