Although Japan and North Korea came to no agreement during their
talks aiming to normalize their ties, which concluded in Hanoi
yesterday morning, the meetings aided both sides to comprehend the
other's positions, said a Japanese Foreign Ministry official.
"We couldn't make any progress," the official said at a press
briefing at the Embassy of Japan in the Vietnamese capital
yesterday afternoon, asking for his name and title to be
An anonymous source at the Japanese embassy said that "we agreed
that both governments must discuss various issues, including the
two issues," referring to Japan's colonial past in Korea and
outstanding issues of common concerns.
The two issues dominated the two-day meetings, he said, adding
that "Japan insists that the abduction is the main issue."
The official addressed North Korea's claim that all had been
done in terms of the abduction issue, categorizing their position
two sides originally agreed to four meetings spread over two days
from March 7 to 8 at the two countries' embassies in Hanoi.
After the first meeting on Wednesday morning at the Japanese
embassy, North Korea announced that the afternoon meeting had been
cancelled. Thursday saw only a 40-minute session in the morning on
normalizing bilateral ties.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)