INTRO: Japan said Tuesday it will consider taking
measures to support the inter-Korean dialogue,
following the partial easing of sanctions announced by
the United States. As Correspondent Amy Bickers
reports from Tokyo, the Japanese prime minister says
he will continue to work towards normalizing ties with
TEXT: There were signs Tuesday Japan is eager to
resolve historic tensions with North Korea. Japanese
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is reported to have said
his government will take steps to quickly establish
relations with Pyongyang.
The comment came during a meeting with a special South
Korean envoy sent to Tokyo by Seoul days after the
historic inter-Koreas Summit in Pyongyang and just one
day after Washington announced an easing of some
sanctions on North Korea.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said Tuesday
Japan will decide on specific measures to back the
fledgling relationship between the two Korea's, after
it meets with South Korea and the United States. Japan
is a strong supporter of the countries' three-way
dialogue to coordinate North Korea policy. Tokyo could
offer economic cooperation in a variety of areas and
more food aid to the impoverished nation.
Mr. Kono says North Korea's warm stance at the first-
ever Korea's summit was encouraging. He says the
Japanese Government is pleased to hear North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il reacted warmly at the summit when
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung conveyed Tokyo's
wish to reopen talks on setting up ties.
Japan and North Korea -- which have never established
formal relations -- held an initial round of
negotiations in April, reopening talks which had
collapsed nearly eight years before. Sticking points
include North Korea's alleged abduction of several
Japanese citizens and Japan's unwillingness to
compensate Pyongyang for colonial atrocities.
North Korea asked Japan to postpone a second round of
talks, which was scheduled for late May. It did not
give a reason for the request.
Monday, Pyongyang said it is ready to resume
discussions with Japan and urged Tokyo to approach the
negotiating table. (SIGNED)
NEB / AB / WD
20-Jun-2000 07:51 AM EDT (20-Jun-2000 1151 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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