DATE=8/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=JAPAN / NOKOR TALKS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-265690 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 neighbors. 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 ties. 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 obstacles. (SIGNED) NEB/HK/AB/JO/KL 21-Aug-2000 07:55 AM EDT (21-Aug-2000 1155 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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