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10th N. Korea-Japan bilateral negotiations

Posted August. 22, 2000 20:29,   


The Japanese Foreign Ministry announced August 22 the results of the first round of meetings of the 10th bilateral negotiations to normalize relations with North Korea, held at the Japanese ministry`s building at 2 p.m.

The ministry said that the North requested that the Japanese government first redress the past -- Japan`s colonization of Korea -- while Japan asked that the North redress the alleged abduction of Japanese in North Korea.

The North Korean representative to the talks, Chong Tae-Hwa, asked Japan -- if it had the commitment to write off the painful past history between the two Koreas -- to respond to its requests in a sincere and positive manner. He asked for a firm decision from the Japanese government, saying that it should not be bound by precedents.

However, the Japanese government is unlikely to accept the North`s requests. It stands to link the issues of abduction and missiles to normalizing relations with the Communist country. It knows that it cannot escape a public furor if it yields on the alleged abduction issue.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government is expected to send an additional 200,000 to 300,000 tons of rice to the North as early as the end of this month.