The Straits Times
Published on Aug 31, 2012

Japan, N. Korea aim for higher-level talks soon


BEIJING (AFP) - Japan and North Korea hope to soon hold talks which could cover Pyongyang's past abduction of Tokyo's citizens, a Japanese official said on Friday after three days of preparatory discussions in Beijing.

The two will iron out final details to conduct higher-level talks in the Chinese capital at "as early a time as possible", said the official, who under briefing rules could only be described as connected to Japan's foreign ministry.

This week's results would be taken back to Tokyo and Pyongyang for further discussion, he said, and the two would work to "hold broad talks with issues of concern to both sides on the agenda", possibly in September.

Japan intended to strongly pursue the abduction issue at the future discussions, which would be classified as inter-governmental talks, he said.