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)