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DPRK calls for removal of Japan from six-party talks
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Japan should be removed from the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, a commentary in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) official daily Minju Joson said Tuesday.

The commentary accused Japan of attempting to impede the denuclearization process and use it as a pretext to bolster its military power and expansionist aims. 

Japan kept creating trouble in the six-party talks and had wrecked the process, the commentary alleged, saying "it is time to discuss depriving Japan of its right to take part in the talks."

It said Japan had refused to grant energy and economic aid to the DPRK under the six-party agreement, and had hurt bilateral ties on the pretext of accusations of "abduction of Japanese citizens".

Japan extended its economic sanctions imposed on the DPRK for the fourth time on October 10, saying it had failed to make good progress on the "abduction" issue.

For decades, the DPRK had denied the accusation of having abducted some Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. But during the former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Pyongyang in 2002, DPRK admitted that his country's agents had kidnapped 12 Japanese.

The DPRK released five of them along with their children, but said the other eight had died over the years.

Japan said it believes some of them may still be alive and that there might still be other abductees in the DPRK.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2008)

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