Tokyo Ready To Mend Ties With N.Korea If Situation Around Kidnapped Japanese Settled- Kono

Tokyo Ready to Mend Ties With N.Korea If Situation Around Kidnapped Japanese Settled- Kono

Japan is ready to normalize relations with North Korea after issues related to ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and kidnapped Japanese citizens are resolved, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at a press conference on Friday

TOKYO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th April, 2019) Japan is ready to normalize relations with North Korea after issues related to ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and kidnapped Japanese citizens are resolved, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at a press conference on Friday.

"Japan is ready to normalize relations with North Korea when issues around missiles, nuclear [weapons] and kidnapped citizens are settled. Our position has not changed," Kono stressed.

Japan and North Korea have not established official diplomatic ties, and their relations have been extremely strained, in part due to the unresolved issue of the Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean security services in the 1970s and 1980s.

Japan insists that a total of 17 Japanese nationals were abducted by North Korea, while Pyongyang has admitted abducting only 13 of them. Five of the kidnapped Japanese citizens were allowed to return to their homeland in 2002, with North Korea claiming that the others had died. Tokyo refuses to believe in the death of the remaining Japanese citizens and insists on their return.

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