Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=3/22/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=JAPAN - NORKOR TALKS (L)
NUMBER=2-260471
BYLINE=AMY BICKERS
DATELINE=TOKYO
INTERNET=YES
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  Japan says talks about establishing normal 
ties with North Korea are to be held in early April.  
As Amy Bickers reports from Japan's capital, they are 
the first such talks between Tokyo and Pyonyang in 
more than seven years.
TEXT:  Japan's foreign ministry says Tokyo and 
Pyongyang have agreed on a timetable for the first 
round of talks towards re-establishing diplomatic 
ties.
The main topics will include North Korea's need for 
aid and Japan's concerns about missile development in 
the communist nation.
Tokyo is also expected to raise the issue of 10 
Japanese citizens it believes North Korean agents 
abducted in the 1970's and 1980's.
The meetings are to take place from April fourth to 
April eighth in the North Korean capital.  The two 
governments had been working toward setting a date for 
the talks since March seventh, when they agreed to 
reopen the dialogue that stalled in 1992.
Japanese officials warn that rapid progress is 
unlikely, and expect the talks to last several years.  
After next month's meeting in Pyongyang, a second 
round is planned for Tokyo, and a third possibly in 
Beijing.
Japan's foreign minister Yohei Kono, will meet Sunday 
with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-binn, to 
coordinate the two countries' North Korea policies.  
Analysts say Tokyo wants to mirror Washington and 
Seoul in slowly improving relations with North Korea.   
(SIGNED)
NEB/AB/RAE 
22-Mar-2000 08:34 AM EDT (22-Mar-2000 1334 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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