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N. Korea slams Japan for continued demand for resolution of abducted Japanese issue

By Yonhap

Published : June 28, 2023 - 09:30

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

North Korea condemned Japan on Wednesday for continuing to demand Pyongyang resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the North decades ago, claiming that such a stance runs counter to Tokyo's hope for a summit with the North without preconditions.

Ri Pyong-dok, a researcher at the Institute for Japan Studies of the North's foreign ministry, said the abductee issue has been "completely, finally and irreversibly" settled, accusing Japan of bringing the "unfeasible" issue to the fore, according to the North's state media.

"It is also little short of denying the stand of the Japanese chief executive who doesn't miss an opportunity to say that he hopes for the 'Japan-DPRK summit without preconditions,'" Ri was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Ri apparently referred to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has said he is ready to meet with the North's leader Kim Jong-un without preconditions to settle the abductee issue.

Japan has said North Korea abducted 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. It has insisted 12 of them are still in the North, excluding five whom the North let return home, following then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's trip to Pyongyang in 2002.

At that time, the North admitted having abducted 13 Japanese nationals in the past to train its spies on the Japanese language and culture. While returning the five, North Korea claimed the other eight were dead.

Ri also blamed Japan for talking about "abduction" and "human rights" at the United Nations despite the fact that it was Tokyo that brutally violated human rights and committed war crimes during the 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

"This is the height of shamelessness and an insult to history," the official said. (Yonhap)