Friday, February 10, 2006

Eastern Asia:

North Korea And Japan End Talks But Agree To Continue Negotiations
09 February 2006

PEOPLE’S DAILY ONLINE (BEIJING) - The talks between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Japan ended in Beijing Wednesday but the two sides agreed to continue negotiations at a later date. No definite date or venue for the next round of talks has been suggested, but officials announced that the two countries agreed to settle differences through diplomatic channels. Song Il Ho, ambassador of the DPRK in charge of the DPRK-Japan talks, told the press in a Beijing hotel after a 30-minute meeting on Wednesday morning that the two sides had engaged in honest and open-minded discussions. He admitted that the DPRK and Japan had discovered large differences during the five days of talks. "We need to work on to narrow the differences," he said. At a press briefing at the Japanese embassy at noon, Japanese chief negotiator Koichi Haraguchi confirmed that the two sides had reached some agreement and that they would continue to hold similar talks. During the talks, Japan reiterated the need to resolve the abduction issue before improving diplomatic ties and providing economic assistance.

Source Reliability: 5.0

Comment: Some analysts consider this a productive meeting and state there is some potential for improved diplomatic relations between the two countries. There are still a number of issues to be addressed, but the meeting was a positive starting point.

*Map Source


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