Monday, March 3, 2014

Japan-N.Korea Red Cross talks end in China

Red Cross officials from Japan and North Korea met in the Chinese city of Shenyang on Monday for the first time in 18 months.

They are believed to have discussed the issue of retrieving the remains of Japanese nationals who died in North Korea in the turmoil around the end of World War Two.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry's senior official in charge of Northeast Asia, Keiichi Ono, and his North Korean counterpart, Yu Song II, also attended the meeting, which lasted for about 7 hours.

At the start of the talks, North Korean delegates said there was progress at the previous Red Cross meeting, and noted that this was followed by talks between senior officials of the 2 governments.

They said Monday's meeting is more important, because it was attended by government officials.

The Japanese officials said the participation of government officials will create momentum. They expressed gratitude that the 2 sides were able to hold the talks.

Details of the discussions have not been made known. But the 2 sides are believed to have talked about issues including how to return the remains of Japanese nationals.