At a press briefing Thursday morning in Hanoi following normalization talks between North Korea and Japan, the chief DPRK negotiator announced nothing had been achieved due to a rift over the abduction issue.
Differences split the sides as Japan insisted normalization would depend on the abduction issue being solved, despite admitting many of the victims were now deceased. Song-Il Ho, the senior North Korean official to the talks dismissed this position as unacceptable, saying that North Korea had resolved the issue and all that remained to be done was returning the remains of the victims to Japan.
He reiterated that demand Japan must itself clear up past historical issues, such as its armies forcing Korean women to serve as "comfort women", a derogatory term for sex slaves.
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2007)