• Staff Report


Tokyo will maintain its stance of demanding complete abolition of North Korea’s nuclear arms program during the six-party talks that are to resume next week, but is not yet sure whether the new round will lead to any substantial developments, the top government spokesman said Thursday.

China officially announced earlier in the day that the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will resume Tuesday in Beijing, with no closing date set.

“We don’t know yet,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a regular news conference Thursday when asked if Tokyo expects substantial developments in the already extended talks with North Korea.

“Much depends on North Korea’s intentions, which are not known yet,” he said.

Hosoda added that Tokyo has not been informed yet by the U.S. or any other of the participants in the six-party talks EChina, Russia, South Korea and North Korea Eof the prospects for the new round.

He also said Japan will continue to try to hold bilateral talks with the North Korean side during the six-way forum to discuss issues related to the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents, one of the thorny problems that have prevented between Tokyo and Pyongyang from establishing diplomatic relations.

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