After 20 Years, N. Korea's Abduction Issue Remains Unresolved

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 17 (Jiji Press)--The issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens remains unresolved 20 years after a landmark summit in Pyongyang between leaders of the two countries.

"It's extremely regrettable that many abduction victims are still left in North Korea. We'll make all-out efforts to bring all of them back home as soon as possible," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference on Friday.

At the first-ever Japan-North Korea summit meeting on Sept. 17, 2002, then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted for the first time Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese citizens decades earlier and offered an apology.

Kim told then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in the summit that five abductees were alive, while claiming that eight others, including Megumi Yokota, were dead.

Koizumi and Kim signed the Pyongyang Declaration for a comprehensive resolution of the issues of North Korea's abductions and nuclear and missile programs, as well as an early normalization of the two countries' diplomatic ties.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press