Furuya looks to Mongolia for help

Kyodo

Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of the abduction issue, is considering visiting Mongolia as a way to kick-start negotiations with North Korea, a diplomatic source said.

It is the government’s hope that Mongolia’s diplomatic ties with North Korea can be used to move the long-stalled issue forward, the source said, adding that the timing for such a trip is still being discussed.

With Mongolia having a strong desire to engage in issues concerning North Korea, the government views Japan’s ties with it as another “important channel” outside the six-party framework, a government official said.

North Korea’s abductions of Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s remain an obstacle to the normalization of diplomatic ties. The North has yet to reinvestigate the cases as promised.