Japan set to lift sanctions on North Korea

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Japan is lifting some of its sanctions on North Korea.

This follows talks between the two countries on Tuesday when Pyongyang agreed to re-investigate the fate of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and ’80s.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn’t say when the sanctions would be lifted.

“As a result of the Japan-North Korea negotiations, we have determined that an unprecedented framework has been established, where an organisation that can make decisions at a national level – such as the [North Korean] National Defence Commission, or the National Security Agency – will be at the forefront of the investigations into all Japanese nationals, including the problem of abductions,” said the prime minister.

“As such, according to the principles of ‘action for action,’ I would like to lift part of the sanctions that Japan has in place. However, this is only a start. We are determined to do everything we can, with a renewed effort, towards a comprehensive resolution,” added Abe.

North Korea acknowledged in 2002 that its agents had abducted Japanese to train its spies and eventually returned five of them.

Hundreds of Japanese went missing. They are assumed to have been abducted with some still living in the north.

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