As Japan and North Korea prepares for their second bilateral talks in 16 months, it was reported that the communist state’s intelligence agency has already reached out to Japan. The move by the State Security Department to contact Japan is welcomed as a sign of its country’s willingness to reopen the investigation on abducted Japanese nationals decades ago.
Japan and North Korea are set to meet in Stockholm next week for three days. While the two nations have various topics to touch on including North Korea’s nuclear weapon program, Japan’s top priority in the agenda is to discuss the kidnappings and seek updates on its request to reinvestigate the matter. It is anticipated that to persuade North Korea to open the case again, Japan is willing to relax the sanctions imposed on its Asian neighbor in exchange for more information. The State Security Department is a secret police force that reports directly under the Supreme Leader. It is in charge of taking down political offenses and removes anti-government forces in the country. The department also handles the issue of the kidnapped Japanese. With the State Security reaching out to Japan, analysts have interpreted it as a signal that North Korea is about to give in to the request. An official from Japan said that the move “could be a sign that North Korea is getting serious about dialogue.”
The Cabinet Secretariat of Japan has been collecting data and information regarding the whereabouts and fate of the abductees. Members of this department will be present at the meeting in Stockholm next week so it could confirm the validity of information that North Korea would give Japan regarding the matter.
[via Nikkei Asian Review]