One of the most important results to come out of the intergovernmental talks between Japan and North Korea is that the latter has agreed to reinvestigate the status of the abducted Japanese nationals from the 70s and 80s. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement, saying that he expects this move will be the “first step toward comprehensively resolving” the issue that has prevented the two countries from having official diplomatic relations.
The agreement was revealed by Abe a day after the talks between officials from both countries finished in Stockholm, Sweden, even as the senior diplomats involved did not give much details about the outcome of the talks. But North Korea released through their media an announcement that they will be ready to “conduct a comprehensive and full-scale survey for the final settlement of all issues related to Japanese,” without specifying what those issues are. They however said they are setting up a special investigation committee and will be informing the Japanese government if there will be any surviving abductees found. They will also be doing all the necessary actions that will enable the survivors to come back to Japan, as per Pyongyang’s official news agency.
In return, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that they will be easing certain sanctions imposed on North Korea once the reinvestigation is launched. It remains to be seen how South Korea and the United States will react to this move by Japan, as the sanctions are in place because of Pyongyang’s refusal to discontinue their nuclear and missile testing program.
[ via The Telegraph ]