• Kyodo

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An official North Korean daily gave prominent coverage Wednesday to the joint declaration signed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il — but failed to mention the North’s abductions of Japanese nationals.

The daily Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, also omitted Kim’s apology for the abductions at the landmark one-day summit in Pyongyang.

The newspaper carried seven pictures related to the summit, including one of the handshake between Kim and Koizumi, and another of the signing of the joint declaration.

It made no reference to the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, nor to the results of an investigation into the affair.

In a stunning about-face, Pyongyang effectively admitted Tuesday to having abducted 13 Japanese, of whom five are still alive. Kim apologized for the abductions during his summit with Koizumi.

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