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Friday, Dec. 23, 2005

Pyongyang talks to push three topics

Staff writer

Tokyo will try to get Pyongyang to commit to "three-track talks" on the abductions, security and settlement of Japan's past harsh rule during their weekend bilateral meeting, Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Thursday.

Aso said it was "natural" to believe North Korea has already agreed to the three-track talks as Japan told North Korea it would only attend the next bilateral meeting if Pyongyang did so.

At the last bilateral talks held in Beijing in November, Japan proposed the two sides hold separate talks on the abductions, security and Japan's past rule.

"It will be a progress if we can set up the three panels and name the members," Aso said, adding he would appoint officials versed in each of the fields to head the three panels.

Akitaka Saiki, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Bureau, will head Japan's delegation over the weekend and Song Il Ho, vice director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department, will lead Pyongyang's side.

Aso met later Thursday with kin of South Korean, Thai, Lebanese and Japanese abductees to North Korea.

Nuke envoy named

The Foreign Ministry on Thursday gave Tadamichi Yamamoto, who currently serves as government envoy on antiterrorism and Iraq issues, the additional job of special envoy on the North Korean nuclear threat.

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The Japan Times

Article 4 of 14 in National news

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