North Korea has provided medical records and other documents pertaining to two of the eight Japanese it admitted kidnapping and claimed died in the Stalinist state, ahead of bilateral talks starting Nov. 9, Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said Tuesday.
Machimura told reporters that North Korea submitted via diplomatic channels the passport and a photograph of Keiko Arimoto, whom Pyongyang claims died after being abducted in 1983 at the age of 23, and medical records of another abductee, Megumi Yokota, who was 13 when she was kidnapped by agents in 1977.
The medical records, which were handed over to the Japanese side late last month along with other documents, were blurry as they were a video image of the originals, a top Foreign Ministry official said, adding that the ministry is currently trying to decipher the unclear words.
“I gather that they are trying to show a sense of sincerity in their own way,” Machimura said in commenting on the actions of the North. “We had urged them to provide essential information before (the next round of bilateral talks), so they may have responded to that request.”
He said the two sides agreed to hold the next round of bilateral talks for four days starting Nov. 9 in Pyongyang to discuss the North Korean reinvestigation into 10 Japanese whom Tokyo believes were abducted. North Korea has said that eight have died since being kidnapped and the other two never entered the country.
The North Korean officials directly involved in the reinvestigation will be present at the talks for the first time, ministry officials said.
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