DPRK wants to exclude Japan from nuclear talks

By Xinhua,

Pyongyang : The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not hold talks with Japan in the upcoming six-nation talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, the official KCNA said Saturday.

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“We will neither treat Japan as a party to the talks nor deal with it even if it impudently appears in the conference room,” the KCNA news agency cited a spokesman for the DPRK foreign ministry as saying.

The main task of the new round of six-party talks is to “ensure the speed of economic compensation” to the DPRK, but Japan has refused to provide any economic aid until some progress is made on the “abduction issue,” the spokesman said.

Japan, therefore, “has neither justification nor qualification to participate in the talks,” he said.

The disablement-for-aid agreement reached by China, the DPRK, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and Russia in 2007, could move on without Japan, he added.

The fresh round of six-party talks was scheduled to open on Monday. The “abduction issue” was one of the stumbling blocks of the on-off nuclear talks.

The DPRK has admitted kidnapping 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s. It has returned five victims to Japan, while saying the eight others were dead.

But Japan insists that the DPRK is hiding survivors and abducted more people than it has acknowledged.