Japan, North Korea talk again

2012-08-29 19:32

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - Officials from Japan and North Korea held their first government-to-government talks in four years on Wednesday, amid hopes that new leader Kim Jong Un will adopt a less confrontational approach to relations between his isolated, impoverished nation and the outside world.

The talks are being held at the Japanese Embassy in China, the North's closest ally and biggest aid source, which has been subtly pushing for economic reforms and a more co-operative tone. They are being described as preliminary discussions to pave the way for full-fledged talks in the future covering a broader agenda.

Discussions between Tokyo and Pyongyang have been frozen since August 2008 because of animosity over past frictions and disputes over the North's nuclear programme and its kidnapping of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. The countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.

Japan is pushing to have the highly emotional kidnapping issue included in the agenda for future talks, chief Japanese government spokesperson Osamu Fujimura said.

North Korea has admitted abducting 13 Japanese nationals and using them to train spies. It pledged in the 2008 talks to reinvestigate the abductions, but has not done so.

North Korea is using the talks to improve ties with Japan because it urgently needs economic help, said Jeung Young-tae of the South Korean government-funded Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul. 

Colonial rule

The North probably wants both investments and compensation for Tokyo's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in 1910-1945, Jeung said.

"North Korea needs Japanese assistance to find a way out of" its dire economic problems, he said.

The talks were scheduled after the two nations' Red Cross societies met in Beijing earlier this month to discuss the repatriation of the remains of Japanese soldiers, and come a day after a Japanese delegation landed in Pyongyang in a bid to bring back the remains of relatives who died in North Korea during World War II.

During the 10-day trip, the delegation will visit the graves of Japanese who died in Korea in the closing stages of the war.

In another sign of a slight thaw in Japan-North Korea relations, Tokyo issued special visas to North Korean soccer players to allow them to participate in the women's under-20 World Cup in Japan.

Japan has banned trade and exchanges of people with North Korea under sanctions it imposed over the North's nuclear and missile programmes, but sports and humanitarian visits are considered exceptions.

- AP

Read more on:    japan  |  north korea  |  north korea nuclear programme
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
  • Monday Somerset West - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Ace

A sleek combination of technology and sophisticated design, the Samsung...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.