Japan-DPRK talks on abduction issue end with no details revealed

Updated: 2014-10-30 11:04


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PYONGYANG - Closed-door talks between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the kidnapping of Japanese nationals during the 1970s and 1980s ended Wednesday with no details provided by either side.

Junichi Ihara, head of the Japanese delegation, told a briefing that Japan has made clear its stand that the abduction issue was its top priority.

The Japanese delegation, he said, was briefed on the status quo of the ongoing DPRK investigation.

The DPRK's chief investigator, So Tae Ha, attended the concluding meeting Wednesday afternoon, during which the Japanese side urged Pyongyang to deliver an investigation report as soon as possible, said Ihara, an official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

However, Ihara refused to disclose details of the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, or whether a new round of negotiations will be held in the near future.

Ihara also declined to say whether the purpose of the visit had been achieved, saying the visit was not aimed to get a report on the case but to seek to understand the current situation. Neither did he disclose the DPRK's responses during the two-day talks.

A special investigation committee headed by So started talks Tuesday morning with the Japanese delegation for an update of its work.

In July the DPRK announced the establishment of the special committee tasked with probing into the fate of the kidnapped Japanese citizens. In return, Japan eased several sanctions on Pyongyang.

The DPRK side, however, failed to provide Japan with an initial report due in September. It later invited a Japanese delegation to Pyongyang for more information about the issue, according to Japanese media.