DATE=6/20/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=NORTH KOREA/JAPAN NUMBER=2-263567 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 Pyongyang. 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) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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