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Top Korea experts from Japan, China chat before abduction talks in Beijing

Kyodo

Japan’s chief negotiator on North Korea met with his Chinese counterpart Monday for talks just a day before Tokyo and Pyongyang were to hold another round of negotiations on the abduction issue.

After the meeting in Beijing, Junichi Ihara, head of Asian issues at the Foreign Ministry, said he held talks with Wu Dawei, China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, but said, “I can’t say more than that.”

Ihara is scheduled to meet with Song Il Ho, North Korea’s ambassador for talks on normalizing relations with Japan, on Tuesday in Beijing. They are to discuss the specifics of a major deal they struck in Stockholm in May that made progress on the long-standing issue of North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese.

North Korea promised to reopen an investigation into the whereabouts of the Japanese Tokyo believes were abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s in return the lifting of some of Japan’s unilateral sanctions on North Korea.