TITLE=JAPAN / NOKOR TALKS (L-ONLY)
INTRO: Japan and North Korea will reopen talks
Tuesday in Tokyo on normalizing relations. As V-
O-A's Amy Bickers reports from Tokyo, a
successful outcome hinges on several thorny
issues that have been unresolved for years.
TEXT: Tuesday marks the start of the 10th round of
negotiations between Tokyo and Pyongyang on
establishing formal ties.
/// OPT /// In April, the two governments had
their first encounter in more than seven years
when they met in the North Korean capital. A
second round of talks, which had been scheduled
to take place in May, was postponed until now.
/// END OPT ///
For Japan, the main issue is the alleged
abduction of Japanese people by North Korea.
Tokyo says 10 people were kidnapped in the 1970s
and 1980s to teach Japanese language and customs
to North Korean spies.
So far, North Korea has said only that it will
take appropriate steps if any missing Japanese
are found. Japan maintains that Pyongyang must
take further action if it ever hopes to receive a
formal apology from Tokyo because of its wartime
occupation of the Korean peninsula. North Korea
is demanding compensation, as well as an apology,
for Japan's sometimes brutal colonial rule which
lasted from 1910 to 1945.
These unresolved issues have stalled previous
negotiations between the two Northeast Asian
At last month's Association of Southeast Asian
Nations meeting in Bangkok, Japanese Foreign
Minister Yohei Kono and his North Korean
counterpart, Paek Nam Sun, held their nations'
first talks at the foreign ministerial
level. They decided to resume the normalization
talks and agreed to other measures to build-up
Analysts say this round of talks is unlikely to
lead to a concrete agreement. They see it more as
a step toward building mutual confidence and
trust. The talks will take place on Tuesday and
Thursday, with the Pyongyang negotiating team
scheduled to return home on Friday. North Korea,
which previously shunned international contact,
has been in the process of reaching out to other
nations and has recently established diplomatic
ties with Italy, Australia, Brunei and the
Philippines. However, setting up ties with Japan
will require both countries to clear some steep
21-Aug-2000 07:55 AM EDT (21-Aug-2000 1155 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list