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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)
20-Jun-2000 07:51 AM EDT (20-Jun-2000 1151 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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