Home > News > World
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 4:35:02 PM
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 4:36:28 PM
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will decide whether to ease sanctions against North Korea on Thursday after assessing Pyongyang's plan to reinvestigate the fate of the Japanese citizens kidnapped by the reclusive state decades ago, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said.
North Korea in May agreed to reopen the probe into the status of Japanese abductees. In return, Japan promised to lift travel curbs, restrictions on the amount of money that can be sent or brought to the impoverished North without notifying Japanese authorities, and allow port calls by North Korean ships for humanitarian purposes, when the investigation is launched.
Pyongyang, however, has a history of reneging on deals.
Japan has said the final decision on the easing will be made after seeing if the new probe is designed to be effective. Japanese diplomats met their North Korean counterparts on Tuesday to evaluate Pyongyang's plan.
"Tomorrow, relevant cabinet ministers will meet and after examining the results of the discussions, will decide on how the (Japanese) government will respond," Kishida told reporters.
The Japanese sanctions that could be lifted are separate from those imposed by Japan and other U.N. members under U.N. sanctions that followed Pyongyang's first nuclear test in 2006. The North is banned from conducting atomic and missile tests, and U.N. member states are barred from weapons trade with Pyongyang and from financial transactions that facilitate them.
North Korea admitted in 2002 to kidnapping Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to help train spies. Five abductees and their families returned to Japan.
North Korea said the remaining eight were dead and that the issue was closed, but Japan pressed for more information about their fate and others that Tokyo believes were also kidnapped.
In 2008, Pyongyang promised to re-open the probe of Japanese abduction victims, but it never followed through. It also reneged on promises made in multilateral talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programme and declared the negotiations had ended.
(Reporting by Linda Sieg, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
Hague judges give warlord's lawyers more time to prepare
Turkey's Erdogan moots possibility of snap election
Iran nuclear talks in endgame, negotiators push on sticking points
Greeks deeply divided heading into crucial vote
Celebrate Raya in style with GEMFIVE
The 3 unexpected life events that leave us in debt
Dubai says plans world's first 3D printed office building
Union slams FIFA and demands player involvement in reforms
LBU signs MoU to deliver Sarawak highway project
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)