Home > News > Regional
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 7:53:32 AM
BEIJING: Talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang on Japanese citizens abducted during the Cold War opened in Beijing with Tokyo’s envoys giving their North Korean hosts a diplomatic rebuke over missile launches.
Sunday’s test launch of two short-range Scud missiles was “extremely regrettable”, foreign ministry official Junichi Ihara, the head of Japan’s delegation, told his North Korean counterpart Song Il-ho.
At the start of talks at North Korea’s embassy in the Chinese capital, Ihara stressed the missile launch was “incompatible” with the substance of previous North Korean commitments made to Japan and to agreements at Six-Party nuclear talks.
Ihara called on the nuclear-armed North not to repeat the launches, and to respond to the demands of the international community, but Song defended Pyongyang’s actions.
“The rocket launch ... was carried out smoothly without having the slightest impact, not only on regional peace and security but on international navigation order and ecological environment,” he said.
The talks were held in a huge meeting room under two giant, imposing pictures of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il, who died in December 2011.
The younger man was in turn succeeded by his own son Kim Jong-un, as the Kim dynasty maintained its hold on the secretive, isolated state.
It is unusual for foreign journalists to be allowed into the embassy.
The North has promised to use the Beijing meeting to “explain about the organisation, composition and persons in charge” of a committee it has set up to reinvestigate the abductions of Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s, Tokyo officials said previously.
North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train its spies in Japanese language and customs.
The subject is highly charged in Japan, where there are suspicions that dozens or perhaps even hundreds more were taken.
Ihara and Song were chief negotiators at talks between the two sides held in Sweden in May, which marked a major breakthrough in their very strained relationship and the most positive engagement between Pyongyang and the outside world in many months.
“What is truly important is what comes next,” Ihara said yesterday.
“It’s necessary to firmly and steadily implement this agreement and make it effective.” — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Regional, china japan
China evacuates over 865,000 as super typhoon nears
Beijing hits out at Tokyo
Hong Kong braces as typhoon approaches
China, Japan slow to respond to stimulus
Japan, Philippine military planes take flight near disputed waters
Australian PM rules out random visa checks
Illegal banking rises as the new evil
N. Korea Red Cross agrees to talks on family reunion
UN’s Ban defends parade trip to Beijing
Lawmakers must do more to fight water pollution
Five unusual ways to build endurance for a marathon
PSG's Cavani on target, Di Maria impressive in Monaco win
Six teens linked to Sony, Microsoft cyberattacks arrested
Penang hawker food at half price for breakfast and lunchtime
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)