DATE=8/22/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=JAPAN /NOKOR TALKS OPEN (L) NUMBER=2-265724 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=TOKYO INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Negotiators from Japan and North Korea have reopened normalization talks Tuesday after a four month hiatus. As V-O-A's Amy Bickers reports from Tokyo, delegates for the two sides met briefly to clarify their positions and plan to meet again on Thursday. TEXT: North Korea took another step away from its isolationist past Tuesday, restarting talks with Japan on establishing formal ties. Pyongyang had postponed the talks in May to focus on its groundbreaking summit with South Korea. The talks in Tokyo Tuesday reportedly focused on the main points of contention between the two states. They are Pyongyang's insistence that Japan give compensation for its 35 year colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, and Japan's demands for a probe of alleged kidnappings of about 10 Japanese by North Korean agents. In a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, North Korea's chief negotiator was quoted as saying that a liquidation of the past was essential before Japan and North Korea could move forward. /// OPT /// Relatives of the alleged kidnapping victims and far right activists protested in front of Japan's foreign ministry Tuesday. They are demanding that the alleged abductions be at the top of the agenda. /// END OPT /// These talks are the second round of negotiations, which began in April. Before that, they had been suspended for eight years. The negotiating teams will move to the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo on Thursday for the second day of talks. No negotiations are scheduled for Wednesday. /// REST OPT /// Kojiro Takano, Japan's chief envoy for negotiations with North Korea, says he hopes the anticipated easing of tension on the Korean peninsula will help improve bilateral relations. (SIGNED) NEB/HK/AB/JO 22-Aug-2000 04:04 AM LOC (22-Aug-2000 0804 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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