• N. KOREA, JAPAN TO MEET IN SWEDEN ON ABDUCTEES

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    STOCKHOLM: North Korea and Japan are expected to discuss the fate of Japanese nationals kidnapped decades ago by Pyongyang, as their envoys meet for three days of talks in Stockholm from Monday. The meeting in the Swedish capital takes place after the two countries held their first official talks in 16 months in China in March, speaking on a range of issues including the abduction issue and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The Japanese side is expected to tell the North Koreans that it is willing to lift some economic sanctions imposed on the hermit state if it is convinced that Pyongyang is making a serious effort to investigate what happened to abductees still unaccounted for, Kyodo News said, citing unnamed sources. North Korea outraged Japan when it admitted more than a decade ago that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to train its spies in Japanese language and customs. Five of the abductees were allowed to return to Japan but Pyongyang has insisted, without producing solid evidence, that the eight others are dead.

    AFP

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