'N. Korea, Japan Hold Secret Meeting on Abduction Issue'

Write : 2014-08-31 14:23:37 Update : 2014-08-31 17:54:24

'N. Korea, Japan Hold Secret Meeting on Abduction Issue'

Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said that North Korean and Japanese officials held a secret meeting recently on the North’s investigation into Japanese abductees.

Quoting a source familiar with bilateral relations, the agency reported on Sunday that the secret contact was held sometime between the second half of the fourth week of August and the first half of the fifth week.

The source said that the meeting was held possibly in China between Keiichi Ono, director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asia Division, and Ryu Song Il, chief of the Japanese affairs section at the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

The source added that Junichi Ihara, head of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, may have participated in the meeting as well.

The report said that in the meeting, North Korea demanded Japan allow the entry of the cargo-passenger vessel “Mankyungbong 92” into Japanese ports and lift its economic sanctions against the North.

Japan is said to have asked the North to present the results of the investigation first, saying it will consider lifting sanctions only when progress was made on the abduction issue.

Kyodo projected that the delayed agreement between the two sides could postpone over a week the release of an interim report on the investigation.

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