Japan, N Korea diplomats to meet again for Beijing talks

November 28, 2012 - 12:00:00 am

TOKYO: Senior Japanese and North Korean diplomats will meet in Beijing in December following rare talks earlier this month, Tokyo’s top spokesman said yesterday.

The talks will be held on December 5-6, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said.

Top of the agenda is expected to be North Korea’s kidnapping of Japanese nationals in the Cold War era and its arms programme, amid media reports that Pyongyang is preparing for a long-range missile test.

Japan’s top negotiator will be Shinsuke Sugiyama and North Korea will be represented by Song Il-Ho.

They held two-day talks in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator in mid-November in the first senior-level meeting between the two nations in four years.

After the meeting, Sugiyama said the atmosphere was “not acerbic.”

“It was direct, serious and very rich in substance. We discussed a wide range of subjects in depth,” Sugiyama told the reporters at that time.

The countries do not have diplomatic ties and have long been at odds, with Tokyo pressing Pyongyang to come clean over past abductions of Japanese nationals and its nuclear ambitions.