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Japan, North Korea start three-day meet in Stockholm

Published on May 26, 2014 8:48 PM
 
 A Japanese delegation led by Junichi Ihara (5th right), the director general of the foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and a delegation from North Korea led by Song Il Ho (5th left), ambassador for talks to normalise relations with Japan, meet in Stockholm on May 26, 2014. North Korea and Japan kicked off three days of talks in Stockholm Monday, with the fate of Japanese nationals kidnapped decades ago by Pyongyang set to top the agenda. -- PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - North Korea and Japan kicked off three days of talks in Stockholm Monday, with the fate of Japanese nationals kidnapped decades ago by Pyongyang set to top the agenda.

The meeting in the Swedish capital takes place after the two countries held their first official talks in 16 months in China in March, addressing a range of subjects including the abduction issue and North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

Prior to the discussions at a small Stockholm hotel, the two delegations - eight on either side - appeared briefly in front of the media, the majority Japanese reporters flown in for the occasion.

Wearing stern expressions and making no eye contact with each other, the two delegations welcomed the opportunity to talk.

 
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