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Japanese FM: Talks with DPRK make progress
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Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Wednesday the talks between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has made progress.

During the three-day working-level talks concluded at northeastern China's Shenyang city earlier in the day, the two sides agreed that the DPRK finishes its reinvestigation into the past abductions of Japanese national by this autumn and Japan partially lifts its unilateral economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached when the talks, previously scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, was extended to an early morning session Wednesday.

Japan agreed to lift two of its sanctions, including those against the personnel come-and-go and chartered flights, once the DPRK sets up a committee for reinvestigation, Japanese diplomats said.

The Japanese delegation was headed by Akitaka Saiki, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, while the DPRK delegation was led by Song Il Ho, envoy for the normalization of the DPRK-Japan relations.

Komura was quoted by Kyodo News as saying that the initial deal brought the two sides closer to the stage of "action for action."

On other issues, the two sides agreed to continue discussions in future talks, Japanese media reported.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)

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